“What the superior man seeks is in himself; what the small man seeks is in others.” – Confucius.
As with all things, social media too has its pros and cons. On one hand, the world is becoming more and more of one, big digital village where information moves from one pole to the other in a matter of minutes. On the flip side, people are increasingly turning to social media for validation. We have become hungry for “likes” and complimentary comments. Social media feedback can turn into a double-edged sword.
For children who probably have not yet fully understood that everyone is entitled to their opinion, the “dislikes” and “mean comments” can really affect how they view themselves. As parents, we need to talk to our children to make them realise that social media should not be used as a booster for validation.
We can do this in the following ways:
Remind them to evaluate why they are posting that picture. If the reason behind the post is to impress the online audience, then they should stop. They should ask themselves, “Am I posting because I’m hoping someone will make me feel better about my choices?” If yes, stop.
Help them realise that they are beautiful as they are. They need to be comfortable in their own skin. They also need to understand that beauty is skin deep. Practice what you preach and don’t be critical of your own looks.
Get mentors for them who they can look upto. These could be people who have succeeded in the career your child is interested in. Also point out celebrities who seem comfortable in their own skin to show them that beauty really is skin deep.
Make them understand that charity begins at home. They should not be mean to others online. Just as they don’t want to get mean comments, they should not dish them out.
If our kids know how to put social media feedback in perspective, the power of the “like” is lessened. Most important of all, they should understand that not everyone will be taken with what they share on social media just as in real life situations.
You can’t please everyone, so “Just Do You!”
Related: Why Social Media Sharing is Common Among Young Parents