Kids and their social media legacy

toddler

“Oh, boy, I’m only a year old and I already have my blog, Pinterest, YouTube channel and EVERYTHING!” Image courtesy of Public Domain Pictures, Pixabay.

In the past couple of weeks, there has been a funny viral video being passed around different websites: a dad lip-syncing to his daughter’s temper tantrum after a hour’s worth of yelling by the kid. At present, it has over 2.8 million views.

The description of the video on YouTube makes it clear that this was a good kid who just happened to be having a bad day. You never see her face or know her name.

I’ve seen this video several times and noted that reactions varied widely. Some commenters have criticized these parents for everything from their parenting style to the effect the video is having on their other children, while others support the parents for choosing to meet a stressful parenting situation with humor.

Personally, I’m in the second category. From my experience with babysitting kids, sometimes they just don’t want to be consoled and it’s better to hang on and wait until the kid calms down. Humor is sometimes all you have to cope with frazzling situations.

I don’t think the daughter is going to be affected permanently, as still other people have suggested. Maybe it’ll cause her a red face or two later, but this video will probably sink into obscurity after the buzz dies down. I suspect that if anybody brings it up, she’ll just brush it off with “Well, I was only six. You know how it is.”

I do think about what kind of social media legacy we’re leaving behind for kids to discover later on in their lives. According to author Erik Qualman in the Socialnomics 2012 video, 92% of children under the age of 2 have a digital shadow.

And what will be their feelings when those kids and their friends grow up and see the online videos, the photographs and the blog posts, I wonder? Some will find the material funny or endearing, while others may want it permanently removed if it’s too embarrassing.

Children and teens these days deal with more digital threats than those of a different generation: Internet predators, catfishing and cyberbullying, for examples. But I’m of the opinion that if the parents raise their kids to be well-adjusted, smart kids with the judgment of when and where to do the right thing, that will give the kid a firm foundation in life, no matter what appears online about them.

Blog readers, your thoughts? Here’s the video so you see for yourself.

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32 Comments

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32 responses to “Kids and their social media legacy

  1. I really laughed when I saw the video – who hasn’t felt that way? Parents need to keep a sense of humor, roll with the punches, and pick battles. Never hurts to be able to laugh at yourself, too – that’s how children learn to weather harshness (“sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can never hurt me” a mental mindset/coat that must be worn sometimes to survive)
    In this cyber age, raising kids is so much harder. But you are right on target with this:
    “parents raise their kids to be well-adjusted, smart kids with the judgment of when and where to do the right thing, that will give the kid a firm foundation in life, no matter what appears online about them.”

  2. That’s amazing. Having kiddos that have/had autistic meltdowns had me have to find a way to destress without melting down myself. I just want to hug the dad for distracting mom. I didn’t have help either. I’ve never put up nor taken videos, there haven’t been the funds to do it and actually I’m just not inclined. I only see these sorts of videos on reposts. I do not understand the thinking behind going off to search for it. I’m not sure if I’ve reached a judgement or it’s just a matter of tastes and interests.

  3. I think it is hilarious. What can you do when kids throw tantrums except laugh? It is much better than getting angry yourself.

  4. If more parents had a better sense of humor, there would be far fewer abused children — and insane parents.

  5. Since having kids myself, I’ve heard lots of stories from my parents about the stresses of raising me and my siblings, always intended as encouragement that kids do eventually grow up and the good memories outweigh the bad. I suspect that this video will be a great source of encouragement for this girl someday when she is in that place. I know I have a hard time visualizing my aging parents as the young, stressed out people they once were.

    As far as sharing it online, well, I don’t fault them for it. I also probably wouldn’t choose to do it myself. I agree that this will not likely do any lasting harm to this little girl, but I always try to be careful not to embarrass my kiddos online. They’ll be doing that to themselves soon enough.

  6. I’m definitely in the 2nd category as well. Humor is a great way to get through screaming temper tantrums instead of turning angry yourself and yelling back at the child. Plus, it’s just funny. He did a good job lip synching to her yelling. Yes, this is a crazy digital age we live in. My little sisters who are a decade younger than me at least all have gobs of digital info out there on Instagram and blogs about their kids. Me, I’m just lucky to post once a week about chocolate.

  7. I’ve gone back & forth about what to post online with my daughter’s antics. I guess the nice thing is they can come down, but possibly too late?

    I really like the ‘permanent archive’ of it. I also wonder if the shattering of the sense of privacy will continue, and it will never occur to today’s toddlers NOT to have their every move made public.

  8. Servetus

    Interesting. I know a lot of the mommy bloggers talk about this from time to time. Some kids (like Heather Armstrong’s) are practically characters in their own right. I wonder how they’ll feel about it eventually, but then I think, well, Erma Bombeck also wrote about her kids; so did Helen Doss, so did Joan Rivers … it seems a matter of degree rather than a difference of content to me.

  9. The video is pretty funny, and I think it’s great that the parents had enough patience with the kid to have a sense of humor rather than just getting mad. But as someone who threw some pretty extreme tantrums in my day, I can’t help wondering what caused that particular tantrum in the first place and feeling bad for the child who wasn’t being taken seriously when she was so upset and frustrated.

    • From my research, it appears that the daughter was upset because her parents wouldn’t take her to McDonald’s. But the mom points out on YouTube that the daughter was having a bad day, so maybe not getting to go to McDonald’s was the tipping point for the tantrum.

      By now, I think the kid’s her usual good-natured self again. Just a bad day and we all have those sometime.

  10. I wouldn’t be surprised if most of the negative comments are from people who aren’t parents themselves. It is funny – if they were constantly mocking their kids and laughing at them then of course it wouldn’t be good, but I get the sense this was a one-off, and better to laugh than to scream and yell. Most parents do things at one time or another that wouldn’t really go in the book of perfect parenting, but then the kids do a lot of things that wouldn’t go in the book of perfect kids!

  11. I think you’re right, that children who have sensible well-adjusted parents will bring them up with the same stability and good judgement.
    Those are not the children I worry about. It’s the children who don’t have parents like that who are vulnerable, just as they are to drinking, drugs, early pregnancy and all the rest. The problems of the internet are an added snare for children who have no strong base of parental love and responsibility..

  12. Reblogged this on Impybat's Emporium and commented:
    Haaaaa, needs to be reblogged! Thanks, Eagle-Eyed!

  13. And to think these little moments were only shared around the Thanksgiving table. The table sharing has gotten wider, hasn’t it?

  14. Yes, hilarious is the perfect word. I would add almost perfect parenting.
    Parents can never give in to a tantrum. I considered a tantrum a form of child blackmail and I would quietly walk away. I did laugh a few times but not where my child could see me. I left one son in a grocery store floor. I was nearby but he did not know that.
    He embarrassed himself when he looked around. Never happened again.

  15. As a grandmother, I’ve been there done that with two generations. I don’t know if I would want my behavior with a tantrum-throwing kid filmed, on the other hand perhaps I would discover I did alright. Dianne

  16. Jaclyn

    I’m with you in the second group. This reminds me of the Tumblr feed “Reasons My Son Is Crying” – have you seen that? The author posts pictures of her two young sons mid-tantrum, always crying about something ridiculous. My favorite: “I turned off the TV because it was time to leave for Walt Disney World.” (LOL!) And from day three of the family’s Disney vacation: “We’re in the happiest place on Earth. He saw a bug.” (Again, LOL!) I’ve heard a lot of criticism about this Tumblr feed – how cruel it is, how the parents are taking pictures instead of comforting the child and then laughing about it later, how damaged the kids will be in the future – but I think that there’s a line between what’s funny and what’s not funny. “Reasons My Son Is Crying” NEVER posts pictures of the kids crying for a legitimate reason – like if they’re hurt, or lost a pet, or something truly bad. The kids are always crying for some insane reason, like “He asked for macaroni and cheese for dinner. I gave him macaroni and cheese.” That’s what makes it funny. If the kid was in pain or upset over something real, I think it’d be mean – but as long as it’s not the situation, I say good on the parents for finding the humor!

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