Friday, February 14, 2014
The other day I was looking at my personal Instagram profile when Addie (8) snuggled next to me. Since she has always been an inquisitive soul, I prepared myself for the barrage of questions I was about to be asked: "Who's that?", "What are they doing?", "Do I know that girl?" and so on. As I scrolled through the pictures of the people I follow, Addie asked me to pause, go back, and "like" a photo. When a picture of a middle school girl surrounded by her girlfriends appeared, Addie grabbed my phone and began studying the picture. Since she is an extrovert, anything that portrays a poplar social situation grabs her attention. "Wow mom, she has 174 likes on her picture," Addie remarked and then launched into her usual flood of questions. After feeling satisfied, she scrolled down further until she came to my most recent post. My picture only had three "likes". And Addie noticed. In fact, she acted horrified. Why didn't more people "like" my picture? I truly dread the day she becomes part of the social media world. Before that is every allowed to happen, I am going to sit her down and explain the superficiality of it all. Instagram and facebook is just as good at reporting real life as are celebrity trash magazines and entertainment "news" shows. In fact, I am going to type up a bullet point list and post it in her room. A code of conduct of sorts, but more like a code to always stand tall and love yourself no matter how many "likes" your post gets. Self esteem barely has a chance to stand up and grow in today's world. With all the perfectly airbrushed models on magazines, picture perfect times on facebook, tallies of Instagram likes, along with all the other social media outlets, girls need us in their corner more than ever. I made a promise to Addie to never assume she has a handle on it all. And I made a promise to her to always make sure that the only "like" that truly counts is the love for herself.