I have always been a little over the top when it comes to health and safety, but when you become a parent it intensifies dramatically. I think my other problem is that I am very protective and just don’t want anything to happen to any member of my family. But has social media made me a crazy parent?
Before there was Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Youtube we had the newspaper and the news you would watch on TV. I was never into watching those because there was never really anything good being said in there. From stabbings and shootings to obituaries and knowing that your team lost. There wasn’t anything positive to read or watch and so I would just make myself become oblivious to it.
I mean, I wasn’t completely hidden from what was going on around me, but I had enough to worry about without all of that. Then along came social media: Amber Alerts, videos of kids getting beat, news of toddlers left in hot cars, I see it all every day. I know what you are going to say, “You don’t have to watch the videos and read the articles,” but when you have a child you there is something inside you that makes you want to know what is happening and what you should be worrying about.
So I see these videos of kids at daycares getting beat up by other kids, or the caretakers that turned the daycare into a UFC arena having kids fight each other, then Snapchatting the fights for all their friends to see. Then I try to be a normal parent, go to the gym and take my son with me. I take him to the kid care (where I am already freaking out because of germs, but that’s another story) and let him play with the other kids. I head over the elliptical where there is a TV showing the kids in Kid Care. I couldn’t stop watching and was already dumping sweat just walking over to the cardio machines. What if one of the kids bites my son? What if the caretakers don’t care about my child and he gets hurt? Who knows what could happen.
Am I this way because of all the crazy things I have watched and read? Have those articles and news reports sent me over the edge? People tell me all the time you just have to get used to it and that your child will be fine, but I have a hard time believing it after all that I have seen. I am fine with not taking my child to the gym with me to go to kid care, but I wonder, what will happen when I have to take my child to kindergarten? The same crazy things happen in schools and you have no idea what could happen. There is always the option of home schooling my child, but really I want him to have a normal life and I don’t want to be the reason he turns into a social outcast.
Do I remove myself from all the social media? Do I ignore the posts talking about all the bad that is happening in the world? Or do I become the helicopter parent, and everywhere my child goes I am right there with him making sure nothing bad will ever happen?
These things are ridiculous, but it’s something to think about. Maybe we think about the things that we are sharing and viewing on social media and maybe when we see these things being reported and shared we tell ourselves that there are some crazy, disgusting people out there and we will keep our children as safe as we possible can. I pray that none of my kids, or any kids for that matter, ever experience the things that have happened out there.
Society as a whole needs to take a stand for children. If you see something happening, take charge and step up. We have a responsibility to look out for those around us, but that doesn’t mean that we have to film it and share it on every social platform to try and get as many views as possible. Maybe it’s time to take the initiative to start sharing more of the good and a little less of the bad.