"Social Media" first came into my life when my kids became old enough to want to be involved themselves, and, so, I signed onto FaceBook, too, for the exclusive purpose of keeping an eye on what they were up to. I told them that I was "creeping" them, and made sure that they knew I was watching. THey groaned, and learned all about privacy settings, and how to keep me from seeing what they didn't want me to see. I learned about privacy settings, to make sure that I wasn't restricted. And while they were young, the deal was that they could freely participate if I could freely view.
This had nothing to do with being a "helicopter parent" who needed control over their every activity; it had everything to do with their youth, and the learning process that comes with it. We'd taught them socially acceptable behavior off-line; I wanted to make sure that, as they grew and matured, they knew about on-line etiquette and what is, in my opinion, acceptable. I didn't haunt them. I just checked in, occasionally.
And, then, the funniest thing happened: I'd mentioned this to a few of my "Mom" friends, who thought that it made sense, in respect of their own kids, so they signed up themselves. Suddenly, my peers and I were swapping photos and notes about our lives for our own benefit. Many had friends and family all over the globe, so when they joined up, too, Face Book became a forum for bringing our loved ones into our lives from afar. E-mail contact, for events that we wanted to share with many people, became laborious compared to a FaceBook post that everyone could see; the media had become a communications TOOL.
In upcoming posts, I'll be talking about many of the issues that are discussed at the front counter of Kerry's. But, with some consultation with my grown-up buddies, we've come up with a short list of what I call "The Golden Rules of Social Media". These are the thoughts that we always keep in mind, as we upload our lives onto the internet.