Kids and Social Media – The quest for Internet approval

This post seems so odd for me, a blogger, to write. After all, my “reach” is the measurement of my success, right? Companies email and ask for my stats. How many people read my posts? How many followers do I have on Instagram? I have to work, and work hard, in order to get people to “like” me in order to stay relevant. Every post I make, I hope surpasses the last. How many people saw that? Did it garner enough “likes”? Is my engagement on Instagram strong enough? How can I increase my engagement?

This all seemed normal to me in this “industry” — the cutthroat world of bloggers.. where one day we can be the bees knees and the next day, we’re yesterday’s laundry. I should say, it all seemed normal to me until my children downloaded, after an absurd amount of begging, the LEGO Life app.

It was presented to me as a harmless, safe, and age appropriate social media site for kids *under 13* who love LEGO. A way to share their passion for all things LEGO. Okay. Sounds good! I love me some social media.. I see nothing wrong with it.

Then it started. “HEY!! My picture got 5 likes! I can’t believe it!” I paused. My husband and I both looked at each other and he made a comment about how the “search for likes” was already beginning. I laughed, because I didn’t actually think about it. After all, that is my normal. Then came the conversations back and forth.. “Someone commented on my picture!! So cool! Has anyone commented on your pictures?” Oh. Okay. Now it’s a contest between them? I don’t know how much I’m liking this. However, I’m not a hypocrite. Let’s see how this goes.

Fast forward a week or so.. “I got 28 likes! That’s a first! That’s so crazy that 28 people like my picture! I wonder if I can get more!”

That’s when this all hit me. Is this really an acceptable “normal”? Am *I* teaching them this behavior? Are they hearing me make comments that I hadn’t even thought about having an impact? Why is an 8 year old worried about the reach their picture of a LEGO is getting from other 8 year olds?

Is this behavior actually okay? Am I over thinking it? Right now, it’s relatively harmless.. just a crowd of under-13 aged kids sharing with other under-13 aged kids, giving them likes and emoji filled comments. Right? Or is this a slippery slope in the world of social media I know all too well. The parts of blogging that even I cringe at. Where community suddenly becomes competition.

How many of your kids are using LEGO Life? What are your feelings? I’m especially curious about my fellow blogger friends.

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