Being a father of two girls, ages 18 and 16, is one of the greatest joys of my life. Because of them, over the years, I have perfected bedtime stories, how to play imaginary characters, bad dad jokes and my ability to embarrass each of them in just seconds. Just like we always resist driving directions, I know many dads like myself claim that we don’t need help navigating the internet, but truth be told much of it is still mystery, especially when it comes to simply knowing this month’s favorite social media app, let alone how to actually use it.
According to Pew Research, I’m not the only dad out there that struggles with the internet, especially social media. While 66 percent of dads are on Facebook, we don’t even break above 30 percent on Pinterest, Instagram
So for Father's Day, I thought I would help spread some wisdom to all the 21st Century dads out there. Below, are the top 3 rules I have learned from my daughters’ social media 101 lessons that have helped me better understand the ever-changing internet.
Rule 1: Use a hashtag if you want to get noticed
On Facebook, Twitter
Rule 2: Uploading photos is
easy, but permanent
One of the most popular things parents do online is share photos of their kids on social media, especially on Facebook, Instagram
Rule 3: Snapchat isn’t just about selfies, it’s a news platform too
From my 16-year old, I’ve learned that Facebook may be relatively passé and that instead Snapchat “rules the day.” On this app users share photos with friends that disappear after 10 seconds or less. Be careful, though, people viewing your photos can still save them by using the “screen shot” function on their cellphone, so again it’s still always best to assume it’s out there forever. Snapchat is one of the fastest growing apps currently in the market and many kids consider Snapchat as their major location to receive the news. The selected news organizations on this app formulate their news stories to last only
Bonus tip: A photo sent through Snapchat is called a “Snap.” Not a tweet or a snap-tweet, just snap. If you hear your child say “Jane sent me a snap!” you’ll know what she’s talking about and avoid getting the inevitable #dadisclueless eye roll.
Although the gifts we get for Father’s Day may not change much over time (who knew you could even buy a 12-in-1 flashlight/screwdriver/keychain?), technology is changing parenting every day. Whether it’s learning new apps or just adapting the same advice to new scenarios, there is always more for us to learn.
Happy belated Father’s Day to all the current and future dads out there! #DadJokes #Dontbeafraidtoaskfordirections
If you want more information on navigating the web with your child, check out our Digital You parenting materials.