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Tweens and Online Popularity

It’s been an interesting few weeks!
My Miss has just become a tween and has entered the online gaming world with Minecraft (under our very watchful eye) which has led to some very interesting conversations. We’ve been talking about online friends vs. real life friends, followers, social media and likes…and how this affects our day-to-day lives.
When we talk about career choices, professional you-tuber now comes up quite regularly. Thankfully, so does Wild Life Conservationist! Man, childhood has changed. She smiles and talks to me about her followers and while I try and  talk through the practicality, emotionally she’s already programmed for the tip of the popularity scales.
It’s a natural stage of childhood, I remember it well….but I didn’t have the internet when I was growing up. My class was my friend’s list and only a handful of those opinions even mattered. The school yard? Well that was pretty much irrelevant to my day-to-day life.
That’s not the case now, it seems the school yard is our friend’s list and everyone’s opinion needs to be heard. It’s more important than ever that we are our own children’s role models.
Our conversations have, of course, made me think about my own online presence – both personally and professionally.
I’ve recently watched “Terms and Conditions” on Netflix. That was eye-opening and while I really don’t know what the future holds, I don’t like the current trajectory so I made the decision to remove all of my daughter’s photographs from my social media feed. I know that once they’re online, they’re technically always online, but I want her to be able to choose what she wants to share and what she wants to remain private when she’s old enough to understand the consequences of that decision.
Taking her off my social media feed has reminded me that I’m not actually that interesting (bahahaha), so my personal social media feed has become relatively quiet – but it’s honest and I now find myself pulling further and further away from it. 
Professionally, I will always strive to stay true to my own heart over popular opinion. I’ve chosen to be a quiet voice and wrote about it in my last newsletter.
“I don’t know about you, but I’ve had enough of being screamed at. Everywhere you look today it seems, there are people and brands only too keen to spell out exactly what they think and what they want you to know, in the loudest terms possible. As the volume continues to climb, I begin to wonder about my brand. Can I even be a quiet brand today? I have to believe the answer is yes. The more comfortable I become in my “Business Skin”, the quieter I find myself becoming, so I need to make sure that when I speak, my voice is clear.”
There’s no simple answer from what I can tell, just a constant nudge back towards our own true course – for us as well as our children. At the end of the day though, it all comes back to us – the Parents.

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