Teenage Girls, Social Media & the Pretty Pink Looking Glass
Let me start by saying that I have the best 2 daughters a social media dad could ever ask for. They’re both superlative academically at a very difficult school, accomplished athletes, beautiful young ladies of 12 and 14 and gifted socially. Sure we get our dose of up-your-snoot-daddy teenage angst, even to the point where I feel compelled to share that they’re hurting my feelings. Of course that’s tempered with priceless expressions of their love and dedication to family.
They have their baggage, I have mine and we have some of each others’. Still we’re extremely close in mystical ways that can’t be adequately described with words. Being a father is the most exquisite privilege.
Social Media as an Analogy
Growing up male offers little preparation for understanding the blessed emotional push-me/pull-you of raising teenage girls. *sigh* Luckily my work in social media marketing amongst the MySpace, Youtube, and Facebook pop-cultures has provided serious insight into sociological patterns of both adolescent genders, at least from anthropological vantage point.
The Tao of Being a Social Media Dad
Timeless axioms of social media success hold true when peering into the pretty looking glass lens of raising daughters and I’ve learned a lot about kids from my day gig herding unique visitors. Reciprocally raising 2 teenagers offers incomparable insight into the very wheels of social media.
When dealing with daughters and social media marketing alike, dads are like account managers who manipulate to serve. As parents it’s our responsibility to teach life’s lessons and help guide our children in ways that foster their ability to independently choose their own special direction. Kids need to be told what to do and need to think of it themselves.
Issues arise in teenagers when they don’t quite know what to do and STILL need to think of it themselves. The subtlety involved in helping them to resolution is not much different from the most holistic of social media pitches. Every day aimClear contacts bloggers and “lets them think they thought of it.”
Unselfishness begets mutual support in functional relationships in parenting and blogging alike. The analogy is poignant for me. Sometimes today’s teens are lacking in interpersonal and communicative skills and our challenge is to teach that true love is unconditional while at at same time drawing a line in the sand.
Being a blogger is like the process of unconditionally loving our kids. We give and give and GIVE until there’s sometimes not much more left to give. THEN we thank those who disagree with us for participating in our community…our family if you will.
When diagnosed with lymphoma my daughters Lee and Sylvie were 9 and 11 years old. I swore that day to live until at east 60 years old, to see my precious children graduate from high school and college, independent and stable in this world. Through the healing process and over the years it became perfectly clear: it was not only Lee and Sylvie who needed me …I needed my kids in the worst kind of way. Out of all the monikers assumed during my life, “dad” is the closest thing to “purpose” on this earth that I can find.
The lessons I learn every day at work as a social media marketer help me to understand the delicate balance of give and take. Being a social media dad provides incredible insight into the workings of human nature in a microcosm. I have one very cool life and such beautiful children.
You can follow Marty on Twitter here.