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How I Won the Social Media Battle With My Kids!

Updated: Mar 3

How to manage my kids social media

My children walk around my damn house, blinded to the world around them, and perform these rhythmic hand motions that remind me of the hearing impaired box in the corner of the television during the Governor’s most recent press update. Intuitively, I look around, searching intently for the receiver of these mysterious communication forms. When that fails, my feeble mind then jumps directly to a thorough examination of their ear canals in search of what is surely an embedded air-pod. Still nothing. Now, my parental fear kicks in full force, as it must be an epileptic seizure.

Acting with the swiftness of a well-trained first responder, I immediately get them to the ground and positioned on their side, directing the other members of the home to clear away surrounding furniture to avoid injury during the inevitable seizure. It’s not until the confused eyes of the child stare up at me and clearly verbalize his or her displeasure in my actions that I realize I may have overreacted. “What’s going on with your hands?” I proclaim! “It’s a tik-tok, Dad!”, my child would ferociously declare. Ahhhh, of course it is. Well fuck you tik-tok and your ridiculous extremity animations!

It’s tough man, it’s real tough. In the depth of my heart, probably like many of my fellow fatherly figures out there, I find a majority of the handheld device fads of our children’s generation to be completely ridiculous, but they don’t. Oh no, not at all. You see, within the cosmos of an adolescent brain, there exists not a vast expanse of possibilities, worlds, options and systems. In actuality, if you take the opening to Tyson deGrasse’s famous interstellar show and play it in reverse, that is the myopic view of our little ones. The end of that scene I just described, the camera would break through Earth’s atmosphere, making a meteoric fall back through the clouds, between the skyscrapers of city life, down on to the streets and into the hands of a 13 year old girl, where would lie, an iPhone 11s-double-d (I made that model up, but if they ever come out with it I want one!). With fingers tapping away with the rapid flutter of a hummingbird, the child makes her communications to the world, and in that, the scene ends.

Fuck you cellular device, for stealing the last days of enjoying life with my adolescent child, before she reverts to that 8 year period of complete surety that we are of no use to them.

Here we are, stuck with these robotic children whom we are trying to guide, yet who are parma-gripped to these Chinese tracking devices masquerading as communication mechanisms. What the shit! Men, we only have one option here, one chance to break through the military grade concrete walls that are slowly being erected day by day. We’ve got to download that fucking app. Now for our millennials, especially those of you born towards the latter part of that generational gap, you’re probably fine with this. In reality, you’re probably competing with your children for social status superiority.

For the remainder of us, we need to pursue the guidance of these damn millennials and get on board because they are onto something. No, don’t misrepresent my words here. All this shit is completely idiotic and a waste of time for 99% of its use. However, seeing our children are also completely idiotic in many ways, what better way to connect with them.

For me, I started with snapchat. My morning routine consisted of the usual trek to school. Recently risen children, sitting in quiet somnolence. With my son, I was cool with that daily start. Following the caravan of minivans and SUVs embarking on the head jerking stop-and-go parade of student drop off at the middle school, we would say goodbye to his sister and head to our favorite breakfast spot before his school day began an hour later. With him, at those hundreds of diner meals, we made countless memories and had some great connection time. However, with my daughter, all I had was that fleeting 20 minute car ride to the school.It was here I noticed her snapchat pattern.

“Why are you taking pictures of half of your face”? I would inquire. Inevitably, with the gaze of someone who was just asked why breathing is important, my daughter would simply reply with her stone faced, half-woke look, return to her pressing task of snapping out of frame images and ignore my ridiculous question. As a father I was left with two options. I could fight this routine on a daily basis, which, to be honest had no more detrimental effect than the lack of communication it was providing for the two of us; or, I could take the red pill instead of the blue pill and join in.

So option two it was, and that day at work, I downloaded every social media app she was using, and then, with the recollection of the morning commute I had just experienced, I went to the first one on my mind and opened snapchat. At this moment I likened myself to a teenage Jenifer Connelly, trudging obstinately through the labyrinth of emoji buttons and options presented on the screen before me. Eventually, after about 30 minutes of clueless exploration, I had successfully sent a friend request to my daughter. To my surprise, despite the incriminating action of accepting the request in the middle of school, clearly exposing her lack of adherence to the “no phones in class” rule, we were “friends”. Thus began my streak with my daughter of blurry shots of half of my face. The good half of course!


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