“When adults say, ‘Teenagers think they are invincible’ with that sly, stupid smile on their faces, they don’t know how right they are. We need never be hopeless, because we can never be irreparably broken. We think that we are invincible because we are. We cannot be born, and we cannot die. Like all energy, we can only change shapes and sizes and manifestations. They forget that when they get old. They get scared of losing and failing. But that part of us greater than the sum of our parts cannot begin and cannot end, and so it cannot fail.”
– John Green
As we inch closer and closer to T-man’s 13th birthday – and since he’s begun to dip his toe into the Instagram world – I’ve been grateful to find resources with some parenting advice. Something a little more concrete than buckle up and hold on tight.
“[After studying social media posts what] these researchers found was largely consistent with recent reports from the Pew Foundation, which suggested that most teenagers 13 to 17 were generally happy with their connected lives online, and believed that hanging out virtually strengthened their offline relationships.
‘Being 13’ provides an asterisk of sorts to that rosy outlook: These teenagers, at the youngest end of the spectrum, valued their online connectedness but also described in more detail the ways the specific online interactions affected them…social media had great power to affect their day-to-day emotions in ways a parent might regard with suspicion. One child said she took 100 to 200 pictures of herself to get a good selfie; another regularly posted images on Instagram seeking specific forms of approval only to receive silence in return. Many spent hours scrolling through the images of their peers’ lives online…
Here’s how to guide, help and monitor your child as she joins social media.”