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To hope that not all teenagers are into this looks and personality social media validation stuff?

(48 Posts)
Hippospottymus Sun 14-Aug-16 15:01:00

I am a mother of toddlers so have all this to come, but my DNs and friend's children are all over Facebook, Instagram, snap chat with this "like this and I will DM you what I really think of you/tell you if I think you're pretty/rate you on a scale of 1-10."

Is this par for the course of having tween/teenagers? I find it fucking frightening. Do your teens get upset if people don't respond or validate in the way they want?

MumOnTheRunCatchingUp Sun 14-Aug-16 15:05:07

It's just silly internet stuff and goes over their heads

maninawomansworld01 Sun 14-Aug-16 23:47:18

Ours are only young like yours but we have many children in the wider family ranging from toddlers to 17year olds and there are a real mix.

Some are deeply obsessed with this stuff and others really couldn't give a toss. I'm afraid to say, but from my unscientific observations of our family it is the girls who appear to be most into it. Some of the boys are too but they are much more easily distracted by getting them interested in other things such as sports.

Our 'plan' is to get ours interested in other activities that are diametrically opposite to the whole 'look how pretty I am' thing. My cousin runs triathlons with her 17 year old daughter and you're far more likely to find her in the gym or getting her muddy running gear on that preening in front of a mirror and posting selfies on social media. She also eats better / more than most teens as she's found (at last) that a good diet gives her extra energy for her training - she just laughs at her friends who eat lettuce leaves for lunch as she tucks into a decent meal.

Good that you're concerned about this stuff now, you've got years to do the groundwork to help your kids avoid it.

Mittensonastring Mon 15-Aug-16 00:09:29

It's the girls that seek validation far more than the boys. The stuff on Instagram my DS has shown me that the girls in his year put up makes me shudder.

Mumberjack Mon 15-Aug-16 00:11:28

I have two DDs - one is 3 the other is 6mo. It's bloody terrifying but I'm just hoping that I can influence them that looks aren't all. Bloody hard task though given the selfie obsession etc

EnquiringMingeWantsToKnow Mon 15-Aug-16 00:14:46

Half of DD's emails are updates from Instagram and the other half are from Amnesty thanking her for supporting whatever the letter campaign of the day is. She divides her time between nail art blogs and proof reading her best mate's first novel. I'm not too worried about the future of the world.

BillSykesDog Mon 15-Aug-16 00:28:10

Sorry. But this really made me laugh. It really is a case of 'we're all turning into our parents'. And 'Ooh, the next generation, don't know they're born, all they care about is rubbish'. You'll be complaining all their music is just noise next.

Teenagers have done silly, shallow things since the dawn of time and probably always will do, they also always grow up and grow out of it.

coldcanary Mon 15-Aug-16 00:28:48

I think it's slowly changing. DS's female friends do a lot of pouting selfies but are just as likely to post charity/awareness things.
DD1 is 11 (isn't on social media, chats to friends through Skype) now and most of the girls she knows are very feminist orientated or into gaming like her. I'm not saying the pressure isn't there but hopefully teens and preteens aren't acting on it as much as they have done.

SatansLittleHelper2 Mon 15-Aug-16 01:36:07

My niece is 17 and only caved into.getting facebook this year but only has close friends and family on there. She doesnt bother with social media and doesnt do the posing photos thing either.

She's also very popular and sorted, a genuinely nice kid and not being on social media hasnt stopped her from fitting in.
Sadly she's rather unusual for kids her age tho , I think it's a shame tbh.

manicinsomniac Mon 15-Aug-16 02:04:01

Not all, no. I imagine the majority.

My eldest is 13. She isn't on social media yet but I don't know how much longer I can keep her disinterested for. She starts senior school in Sept (and it's a performing arts/dance school too so will be probably be even worse than the average) so I don't think it will be long.

AnnaMarlowe Mon 15-Aug-16 02:23:29

There's nothing wrong with being interested in fashion or self presentation but if in 10 years or so my DD (only 8 yo) is rating other women out of ten or asking them to rate her, she and I will be having a serious conversation about self esteem and feminism.

BillSykesDog Mon 15-Aug-16 02:29:51

It's a curiosity thing though isn't it? When I was a teenager I remember not knowing if I was good looking or how good looking I was. Teenagers are obsessed with how they are perceived by other people and very bad at judging it so are going to be curious about anything which claims to tell them.

I also think it's easy to forget how all consuming finding a partner and being sexually attractive is at that age. Which really is only natural. They're sort of doing what they're biologically programmed to do, just with very modern technology.

altik Mon 15-Aug-16 03:39:58

It's a craze they seem to go through. My 12 (almost 13) year old DD is on Instagram and I would say her friends were all doing this about a year ago.

But agree with maninawoman'sworld - our DD does a time consuming sport, so she's never spent hours on Instagram. She looks on such things with bemusement as she can't see the point either.

Ninasimoneinthemorning Mon 15-Aug-16 03:45:19

It's a craze it will pass

KoalaDownUnder Mon 15-Aug-16 03:48:51

You can hope. I must admit, I do despair a little, though.

My friend's daughter couldn't have cared less about all that. Complete sport-loving, down-to-earth girl. Realised at about 14 that she is actually stunning, and for the past year it's been all pouty bikini shits, and 'rate me' on social media.


bigTillyMint Mon 15-Aug-16 04:03:41

It seems to be the vast majority of teens - especally girls doing the face-pulling, but boys pose too. It's at its mist obvious with younger teens who are keen to get approval. Very, very unusual to find any teens who aren't on social media - it is how they keep in touch with their friends.

Maybe things will have moved on a bit in 10 years - I think it's a massive pressure on teens. And yes, we've had the chats, and continue to, but at this age it's all about their peers.

LackOfAdhesiveDucks Mon 15-Aug-16 04:09:00

I don't have kids myself but I 'folllow' (is this even the right term? God I'm old) with a bunch of teen (13-18) girls on Instagram because of our shared sport of horse back riding. Some of them post pouty selfies occasionally but more often the pictures they post are of them dirty and with no make-up at a competition or with their horses at the yard. Maybe girls who like horses are just special, I don't know, but I haven't seen cause to completely abandon hope in teens just yet wink

davos Mon 15-Aug-16 06:09:17

My Dd (13) has Instagram and Facebook. All heavily monitored by me and dh. We have her passwords for her phone and both accounts. The rule is that we have free access to her phone or she doesn't have a phone.

She posts on social media less than me. Not does she care how many likes she gets. She wasn't even that bothered about Facebook, but my pils are on it and live far away. She joined so she could share stuff with them and at the moment she only has relatives on there.

I went through some old boxes of stuff. I have selfies I took with a disposable camera on my last day of primary. And throughout secondary. This was the 90s. I am sure if social media was available then, I would have posted them.

Personally I have found letting her have social media has made it something normal and everyday. She isn't that interested.

Teenagers have been into the latest craze since time began. Adults always complain about it.

I know my mum was sick of dropping off and picking up disposable cameras at max speilman for half of them to be (in her mind) pointless.grin

PeppaJetta Mon 15-Aug-16 06:22:24

It's strange isn't it?

Dd is only 3 so (hopefully) will not have this for a long time but...

My beautiful, intelligent nieces seem to be doing their very best to look like idiots!

Lots of heavily edited (flowers in hair picture added on seems the face at the mo) filtered selfies.

Usually with a lot of makeup.

And a very odd furrowed brow pursed lips face.

With these hashtags that seemingly have nothing to do with the contrived picture they have just taken.


I got called a grumpy aunty for pointing out books were very good for boredom and would also negate the need to post their fat ugly natural faces where people would have to look at them.


RaskolnikovsGarret Mon 15-Aug-16 06:35:32

My teen DDs (13 and 15) use social media a lot, but they and their close friends don't use it as vacuously as you mention. They share your dislike for the 'rating' type posts. So yes, there is hope!

Kennington Mon 15-Aug-16 06:45:47

It is miserable and depressing to me.
I think it Is damaging to self esteem.
I also think it distracts from what is important, like their studies.
It doesn't appeal to them all though.
I think one has to be quite strict with this sort of thing otherwise it is will just waste their time.

Littlecaf Mon 15-Aug-16 07:55:57

I have four DNieces & DNephews who are teenagers. Only one constantly posts on fb selfie photos (mostly her & horse). The rest don't. Although that probably means fb is old fashioned and are on Snapchat or whatever instead.

bearleftmonkeyright Mon 15-Aug-16 07:58:55

I think a lot depends on your own attitude to social media. I like Facebook and my DD has it. I am extremely proud of her. She has just come back from 8 days at camp as an Army cadet. There will be absolutely no photos of her telling the world how proud I am of her and how much I've missed her. I don't need to seek validation in that way. She knows how proud we are of her. Interestingly she was completely agog at the girls who had taken eyelash curlers and hair straighteners. They spent most of their time covered in cam cream in the field, dismantling rifles and doing sport.

UsedToBeAPaxmanFan Mon 15-Aug-16 08:07:38

My boys are 18 and 20. They were on social media a lot when they were younger teens but didon't do the stupid posing/approval thing. Lots of their female friends did though. Then they all grew out of it. It's horrible, and I'm really glad they didn't seem too affected by it.

If your children are very little, OP, then I really wouldn't worry about Instagram and Facebook. They will be dead in the water in a few years time and whatever it is that your children will be doing when teens hasn't been invented yet 😁😁.

Seriously, when my dc were small, we didn't have a computer at home, there was no Broadband and social media didn't exist, and so I didn't worry about it. We don't know what the future holds, there will always be horrible pressures on teens and I think our job as parents is to teach our children resilience whilst also teaching them kindness and how to stand up on behalf of those who are being pressurised or bullied.

2StripedSocks Mon 15-Aug-16 08:12:03

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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