Don’t ask me to tell you how long my daughter has been asking to set up her own Snapchat account or how she pulled out all of her tricks to get me to say yes.
She batted her eyes, told me she loved me and told me how strong I was while I was working out. I smiled and told her I have lots of sisters and said no.
Most of the time we don’t engage in that sort of silly back and forth. Most days are filled with a simple yes or no, but this wasn’t one of them.
That is because I had been mulling over whether I wanted to get a Snapchat account long before she started asking for one.
How Daughters Influence Fathers- Snapchat Edition
I am a relatively heavy user of social media and have been for years for personal and professional reasons.
It is part of why I have tried to make a point to use and or learn something about the big social media platforms out there or at least it used to be.
I might have jumped on sooner but like most people there are significant constraints on my free time and I have to be particular about how I spend it.
But thanks to a daughter who knows her own mind and is determined to go out and do what she wants to do and my own curiosity I figured now is/was as good a time as any.
So less than twenty-four hours later you can search for TheJoshuaWilner on Snapchat and follow along.
Can’t say yet if it will be educational, entertaining or informative but I can say I’ll try to make it so.
Who Are You?
I spent a couple of moments wrestling with whether to create a headline that featured Snapchat instead on one that focused on the father/daughter relationship.
Because there is a constant push/pull relationship between just writing and promoting your work.
It reminds me a bit of daily life where I rotate between father/son/brother/husband/employee/man as needed.
Kind of funny to think about someone who hates being labeled wears and sheds the ones that are required as needed.
But isn’t that what we all do?
Isn’t that a part of the so called human condition?
Isn’t it why some of what old Willie Shakespeare said still rings true?
Dads & Daughters- Social Media Conversations
When my daughter first asked about getting a Snapchat account we had our standard social media conversation about being aware of what we post, who we talk to and what happens online.
We talked about how limited our control is of what happens after we post things and why her parents will always have access to all accounts and passwords.
And then I walked away and said that little prayer all parents say asking that our children not do or engage in anything stupid knowing they are kids and will absolutely do those things.
Hell, as adults we still find ourselves doing and saying stupid things and that happens even when we supposedly know better.
Still if we are going to raise children who are capable of handling life we have to let them go out and live so we have to trust they’ll figure it out.
That is not always easy especially when you see how dumb some adults are and how they have been allowed to procreate and raise their own mean progeny.
Sorry mom, I know I shouldn’t be so vague about dumb adults who raise kids that are both stupid and mean.
Rats, I just did it again.
Is it better if I say I am less worried about pedophiles online than mean kids.
Parents & Social Media
Some of the guys have asked me if I worry about pedophiles finding my kids online and have asked what I plan on doing.
Flip to the ‘graphs above and you’ll see what I plan on doing.
I plan on following their social media adventures as best I could knowing full well there are ways they can hide things from me.
My parents didn’t know everything I did and still don’t. It would be naive to think my children won’t figure out ways to hide things from me.
So I have to rely upon their common sense and hope they have been raised well enough to avoid the really bad guys.
Did I mention I throw a dash of luck into that recipe too?
What Cannot Be Avoided Online
What I worry about more is are those mean kids I referenced above because they are online and they go to school with our children.
Not just my children but your kids too.
I can’t tell you if it is one, a 50 or a 100 but I can promise you there are some mean kids floating around ours.
Some of them are truly nasty and some of them are just kids being kids. Kids who say mean things because they haven’t learned how to filter their language.
And some of them are kids who say things that aren’t intended to be mean, rude or awful but whose texts come out poorly the same way adults do.
Not everyone intends to be mean or nasty. Some are just trying to be funny.
Who Are You Trying To Be?
As I look for crash courses and tutorials about how to use Snapchat it occurs to me that with my daughter following my profile I need to think about who I want to be online.
Or maybe it is less who I want to be but how much of my own personality I let shine through.
I am more than just her dad.
Do I share all of me or just part of me?
Do I do that thing people do where they censor the less flattering parts of themselves and their lives or do I just be me.
Dammit, life was a lot less complicated when all I had to worry about was a rotary phone that didn’t have call waiting and whether the number I was dialing was long distance or not.