Wednesday, March 7, 2012

The Slippery Slope of Social Media

My kids believe anything they read on Facebook. I don't know what that says about us as parents, but I like to think it's because they are still young and wide-eyed and innocent.

16 y/o running into my room, “Did you know Lil Wayne is dead?!!”

Me: “Where did you hear that?”

16 y/o: “It's all over Facebook.”

Me: “Ummm. Ok. Did you check the news?”

16 y/o: “No, it's on Facebook.”

Point proven. Social media is an amazing thing. And it can also be a very scary thing. With Facebook and Twitter and You Tube – it doesn't take long for something to catch and spread like wildfire. What brings up this topic today is all the Kony 2012 items I've seen all over the place. I've seen it on blogs that I love and respect. But I had no idea what Kony 2012 was. So I did a little research, with the help of my trusty little Bing bar.

What I found were some articles that supported it as being a fantastic cause and then I read some articles that really left a bad taste in my mouth about the organization. But, that's not why I'm here. If you support this movement, I'll still be your friend. It is a free country. I'm not here to say rather I do or don't.

What I am here to say is that we want to be careful about believing things at face value. These things take off and people start to support it, not because they are educated about the cause, but because it's the 'hot topic' at the moment. This can be a very dangerous thing. Especially for our young kiddos who would never research something. They will post and talk about it, simply because everyone else is doing it.

I don't want myself, or my kids, ever doing something just because it's the 'cool' thing to do. Or because everyone they know is jumping on the bandwagon. I want us to make smart, educated decisions and get behind causes and organizations that we feel strongly about. The ones we've done all the homework on. We can intelligently tell you what they do and what they are about. We can feel confident that it is something that represents the type of family we strive to be.

I love my social media. I don't know that I could ever give it up. But it worries me that almost anything can get put out there and that a lot of people take things at face value. Obviously, Lil Wayne is still alive and rapping away, but to my 16 year old, in that moment, he was as dead as dead can get. Because Facebook said so!


  1. When I hear about deaths, I always double check with the media before I pass the word on. Usually triple check.

    When it comes to causes, I typically ignore what's popular until someone that is close to me brings it up. I know, it might not be the best thing...but I don't want to jump on bandwagons just because. The only way I'll check anything out is if it somehow shows some way of being something that interests me. So unless it involves cancer research, Parkinson's research, my family, jobs or puppies...I usually wait until I hear more about it before I go along for the ride.

  2. Thank you for posting this. I woke up this morning and couldn't believe how much this thing had exploded seemingly over night. I'm not a fan of being political on my blog or posting political comments on others' blogs, so I really appreciate how you brought this up in a way that doesn't take sides but just urges caution.

    It's kind of scary to me how quickly something like this can spread, without anybody checking its veracity. I just wish people would realize that issues like this are rarely as simple as "This guy is evil" and "These are the good guys."

    So thanks again for the thoughtful post.

  3. this was a really good post, with great points !!!!

    we had an incident at the girls school where someone started a rummor that a teacher had died ~ via facebook... it was untrue i can only imagine how his family felt....


  4. Great post! I've been sick the last few days so I'm kinda out of the loop on this whole Kony 2012 thing. I noticed a lot of blog posts popping up about the topic this morning.

    I don't have kids yet but social media scares me for this very reason!

  5. I's so crazy how rumors and even truths spread via social media. It's important to do some research before jumping in and saying you're all for something!