I’m working through some thoughts in my head about social media, as I’ve been doing since founding this blog well over a decade ago. Back then I thought it was going to be a savior of democracy in oppressed societies around the world, and we see how that’s turned out.

Lately it’s an issue closer to home. My kids are creators. At some point years back they got inspired by Captain Underpants and started making their own comic books. We have bookshelves full of 8 inch sketch pads from AC Moore (RIP) and our middle son especially made visual art and story telling his thing. It’s amazing to see how far he and they have come, especially with the story telling part.

In recent years, they’ve taken to making movies with iMovie and other tools like it with an iPad. They’ve started making animated movie shorts as well. None of this is the stuff they want to post on YouTube, but I know it’s coming.

My middle son went and signed himself up a YouTube account. He’s been posting content lately, mostly gameplay stuff from Minecraft. His brothers, of course, want their own YouTube accounts and so far I’ve said “no” without really understanding the why. Michelle hit on it the other day when she said to one of them “I don’t want anyone telling you what you’re worth” and I think that’s it.

Especially when you’re young, other people’s opinions matter a lot. Social media is a wide open gate to put yourself out there and be judged in the form of likes and subscribes, and no matter what they think they will or won’t care about, the human brain is wired to want to fit in with a community. The part that really bothers me WRT the boys is that the stuff that gets likes and subscribes is often the lowest common denominator and I don’t want them molding their creativity around that. We’ve seen how that plays out.