Episode 061: Why I Keep My Kids Off Social Media - Part 2
This week’s episode is the second part of a two-part series. If you haven’t listened to part 1 yet, be sure to check that out first. You can find it here: Ep060 - Why I Keep My Kids Off Social Media - Part 1. Sharing pictures or videos of your children on social media is a controversial topic, and ultimately, it’s a personal decision that every parent needs to make for themselves.
In this episode, Diana will continue to share her reasons for keeping her kids off social media.
We’ll also discuss:
- The dangers of having your kids online.
- The odd social dynamics for children who are on large influencer accounts.
- Older kids are coming forward to share their experience of growing up as their parent's content for social media.
What can you expect from this podcast and future episodes?
- 15-20 minute episodes to help you tackle your to-do list
- How to declutter in an effective and efficient way
- Guest interviews
- Deep dives on specific topics
This transcript is auto-generated. Please excuse grammatical errors.
Diana Rene: 0:00
You're listening to the decluttered mom podcast, a podcast built specifically for busy moms by a busy mom. I'm your host, Diana Rene, and in 2017, I had my second daughter and it felt like I was literally drowning in my home Okay, not literally, but I felt like I couldn't breathe with all of the stuff surrounding me. Over the next 10 months, I got rid of approximately 70% of our household belongings and I have never looked back. I kind of feel like I hacked the mom system and I'm here to share all the tips, tricks and encouragement. Let's listen to today's show.
Hey, welcome to another episode of the decluttered mom podcast. I'm excited and a little nervous about today's topic because I'm going to be talking about why I keep my kids off the internet, why I keep them off my social media, off of everything I do for the business, but also just in my personal life. I keep them. They do not go on the internet at all as far as their photos, their names, any like, anything about their identity is just basically kept off the internet, and it's a common question. I get on Instagram and it makes sense, because it's very rare in our like current time to see a Instagram platform that has a mom at the middle of it that does not have their kids front and center, and so I understand the question, I understand the curiosity and even five years ago, I would have the same question for for if I found an account that was similar to mine. Now, in fact, I specifically remember in I think it was 2019, there was an account that I was following that was very private when it came to their family and it almost bothered me, and so I had to do a lot of like internal like why does this bother me? And I honestly think it came out to the fact that I think we just kind of expect, like when we are following someone on social media, we kind of expect them to give us all of them, like all of the information about them, all the information about their family and their home and everything right, and I think it's just because it's what we're used to. So, before I get into kind of my story with this and I just want to tell you that this is my personal choice. I'm not judging you, I'm not judging other accounts that choose to or have made a different choice than I have. I'm just sharing my personal choice and what I believe is best for my family and my situation and I'm also sharing the reasons why. So, when I go through all of this, it's not if you have an account on Instagram. That's a public account and you do choose to show your kids. This is not coming from a place of judgment. This is coming from just a place of sharing my personal story because I just had I just have questions about it all the time from people, so a little bit of a backstory or background of me and and and my Instagram account. I used to share my kids on there. I used to share their faces. I would do, you know, videos, not like I was never like a family vlogger or anything like that, but when I would create my content for my decluttering business, I would include them in it. So, like when we're doing PM pick up, I would do the fast videos, you know, the ones that you can record at, like where you're moving really, really fast. I forget that time lapse that's the thing. I couldn't remember the name of it. So if you follow me on Instagram, you know that I will sometimes share in my stories or on my reels time lapse videos of me doing like PM pick up and back in the day I would have them do it with me, because they do do pick PM pick up with me, but they usually do it in a different room they're doing the family room while I'm doing the kitchen and so forth. But I used to like set up a time lapse and they would do their PM pick up and I would post that on social media. I shared their names. Besides that, I didn't share like a ton of information about them because I still, even at that point, felt a little bit of a internal like I don't know how to handle this. Like there's no guidebook for this right, because social media is still in terms of like history is still like a brand-new newborn baby, like we don't know, we don't. It's new. It's we were already starting to see like different things in our social lives and just how people treat each other and just the general like humanity. We're already starting to see how it's affected, all of those things for positive and for negative, and I think we'll continue to see that. But it's just there is no, there's no handbook on how to handle running a personal brand business on social media, especially when it comes to details about your private life and about your family and all of that, and so I did share them, but I did it hesitantly or tentatively, like I. There was always just something that was like like okay, it's fine. Like people comment positive things and, like I look at every other single account, every other account is doing this, so like it's got to be okay, right. Like I see these accounts with like four million followers and their kids are front and center and so like if their account is that big and they're doing it and it's fine, then I'm sure it's fine, and so that's kind of where my head was. I I wasn't sure. Then a couple of things happened over the span of a few months. I would say I had roughly 20,000 followers at this point. I think it was like 2021, it was like early 2021, and I'm not gonna even get into like the full details of of this specific situation because, honestly, it was a little traumatic for me because I had hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of DMs like verbally attacking me and telling me all of these really insane things and all it revolved around was that I said I got the COVID vaccine. That was all it was. It wasn't like you should go get it, it was just I got the COVID vaccine and that upset a lot of people that did not like that and decided to attack me over it. So it was an intense situation. I don't like even thinking about it Like I can feel in my chest right now like the anxiety rising, because it was just like our minds are not set up in a way to accept that much criticism and hate in like a three day period. But it was a really, really, really good reminder for me that the internet and social media is like the wild wild West at this point right, like we're still in that newborn stage and that I can control how I put out the content that I wanna put out, but I cannot control how the population that receives that content, how they will receive that, and that could be like a hundred people that see it and they might all perceive it differently. It could be I just had a reel that reached 3.5 million, so it could be 3.5 million people and every single one could have a different reaction or perception or opinion of it. And that was like the really honestly the first time that I realized that, which is silly, I think, logically I knew that, but it was the first time that I experienced it as such like an intense level. And, a side note, I learned a really great lesson during this time period, also for social media, and that is, if you block too many people, if you block too many people in like a 24 hour period, then Instagram thinks you are a bot or you have hired bots and they will block you for seven days. So all of this happened, and then I also could not post on my stories, I could not post in my feed and I could not even reply to DMs for seven days, like I was like put in Instagram jail. So now I know, if anything happens and I have to block people, I need to like do it a little slowly, which Shouldn't be the case, but that's what it is. So this happened right, and then I was off Instagram for seven days. I had maybe it was the universe making me have like a forced break, I don't know a break from social media, but after those seven days I came back and I Didn't post very often. You know I was a little more hesitant rightfully so, I think and so I was not posting my kids as much I and I wasn't posting myself as much, but the seed had been planted right. I talked earlier about how I was already hesitant about sharing them. This made me even more hesitant about sharing them because it just was that reminder that anyone like I don't have control over who is watching my content. And To be completely honest and vulnerable with you, like it was like I considered just Just quitting, like stopping my business altogether, because I was like I don't know. I Don't know if I can do this again, I don't know if I can go through another situation like that, because it was so intense. But I Just started posting Slowly because I do like my mission in my business to help moms is so strong that I didn't want that to stop me. I didn't want that to be the reason that I was Not able to help the women that I know In my heart I'm meant to help. So I Started to like slowly pick up my posting again. And then another thing happened and my girls and I were at a mall and we were shopping for clothes for them and you know we're just, you know, looking through the clothing racks and all of that, and I hear a woman say my kids names and At first I assumed it was like a friend of mine, right, and I turn around. I'm like I have no idea who this is. Who is this person? And she's talking directly to my kids and it freaked them out. It freaked me out. And then she turned to me and she's like, oh sorry, I follow you on Instagram and I saw it Miss six and miss nine, but she knew their names and and that was like a slap in the face reminder that, like I have no control and I'm not saying that this woman had ill intentions towards my kids, but it didn't feel right for her to walk up to them and start talking to them and and use their name and Like she knew things about them and it didn't sit well with me. Like I honestly felt like physically nauseous after the fact because it felt like I Was putting my kids in an unsafe situation that they didn't need to be in, like they didn't, there was no need for that right. Like I know that every year, police stations or police departments come out with back-to-school season and say, like don't put your kids name on their backpack because, like then, like people with ill intentions can see your kids with their backpack, know their name and then they can make the kid believe Better that they know them or they know, their parents, you know, and so it was kind of like that, like I'm putting my kids name on my backpack and then I'm tossing them into three football stadiums a full of people and letting them all see their name and not only their name, but like more identifying information about them and them seeing their face and it was just like wow, like this is not okay, I don't like this. My kids didn't like it, like they were freaked out. They're like mommy who is that? When we walked away and it just was a weird, weird situation. Again, I don't think that this person had any ill intention. I think that when you do share your kids online, people feel like they have a connection to them, like it's like the whole like parasocial relationship idea, right, and so I think she was just being friendly and like saw them and wanted to say hi. But it made me go into like mama bear protective mode, because there's no reason that anybody that my kids don't personally know, like outside of their family and their friends and their school staff and teachers, like there's no reason that other grown adults should know them by their face or by their name. And I know I said like three football stadiums. I'm like, what do you mean by that? So at the time, I had roughly 20,000 followers and so I pictured like 20,000 people sitting in a park, like staring at my kids. I was like that makes me uncomfortable. But now, at 250,000 followers, that's like three and a half NFL football stadiums of people that, like is consuming the content that I put out, and so if I put out content with my kids' names and their faces, then that's the reality of it and, really honestly, way more than that, because my content reaches people that don't follow me all the time, and if a piece of content goes viral, it more often gets put in front of people who are not my ideal audience, who are not the people I'm speaking to, and who say mean things and, like, I have learned a thick skin over the years. But my kids shouldn't have to, right, and I know that my kids are not on social media like. They're nine and six. They don't even have phones or access to it, but one day they will, and so if they ever look back at my content, which it'll be available, like it may not be available on the Instagram app who knows if 20 years from now we will have Instagram, right, but even like I mean, my oldest is nine, so even if she's a teenager and she's on social media and she looks back at, like my old content like right now she loves looking at old photos of her on my phone, right, so what makes me think it will be any different that she'll get on social whenever we do decide to give her access to social media? Like what makes me think it'll be different that she won't go back and, like, look through old social media of mine and if there she clicks on a video and she sees thousands of terrible, cruel, mean comments about her, what will that do to her? You know, like I don't, I just I don't ever want to put her. I mean I don't want. I'm thinking of her specifically because she's older, but I don't want to put either one of them into that position. So number one it's just uncomfortable. It's uncomfortable for me, it's uncomfortable for my kids. Number two it's I think it's a safety thing. Like I don't think it's smart to put my kids identifying information in front of hundreds of thousands of strangers. And then the third piece is that I truly believe that my kids are not able to consent to being on social media, and what I mean by that is not like, hey, miss Six, would you like to be in this cleaning video? And she gets excited and she says yes, like I think a lot of people consider that consent, but I don't think she can at her age or Miss Nine's age. I don't think that their brain has the capability to consent to what I'm asking of them. Yes, I think they can consent to being in a cleaning video. Yes, but I don't think that they can consent to that cleaning video now being put in front of hundreds of thousands, maybe even millions of people that they don't know. I don't think that the possible repercussions or anything that can come from that video, like they don't have the maturity or capability yet their brain has not developed to the point that they can make that consent be actual consent, if that makes sense. So it was those things that made me decide I'm like I'm done in pulling them. I pulled me and my team spent weeks going through all of my social media content and deleting like hundreds of videos and posts and went through my courses and took out anything in there and took out names and took out their pictures or took out any videos that you could see their face in. It was a lot of work. It was a lot of work and it also is a lot more work for me to create content with not having their faces in it, because I am a home account. If my account was about like I don't know, I don't even know If my, if my account was like a fitness account, I think it would be way easier to create content without my kids in it, right, but my, my account is about decluttering your home and managing your home and organizing your home, and our kids are here because they live here and they are a part of the family and, like you know, I'm constantly like, like searching my videos to make sure, like that their names aren't in the background on a piece of art that they wrote or they made and put on the wall, right, like there's, there's just there's constant things about them in our home, because they live here and this is their home. And so, honestly, it made my job harder and I knew that going into it because my, my full time job is my business and a big part of my you know, I have a team and a big part of my personal responsibilities is content creation and social media management. So my job became a lot harder and I knew that. I knew that going into it, and I also had a fear that people would just stop caring, like people would stop following me. People would not want to hear what I had to say because they would either think it's weird that I don't show my kids or that the content wasn't as good If I'm not showing my kids that. So I had a lot that I had to work through, but I felt strongly enough about it at that point that I was like I have to figure it out, like I will. I will figure it out, and I have, and I know that creating content is harder for me, but I'm now at a point where it's just become kind of second nature and how I create content. So that is why we made the decision to pull them from everything online and I'm going to do one more episode next week about the things I have learned since then. So it's been over two years, it's been almost. I mean it's September 2023 now, so it's been like two and a half years since I took them off and I've learned so much more about this topic since then. That has just reinforced my decision over and over and over, and when I have talked to other people about this, like their eyes look like that emoji, you know, like the wide-eyed emoji because they're like I had no idea and like it made them make the same decision as me to pull their kids offline. So I'm not again. I'm not here to convince you. I'm just here to share what I have learned, but this episode is getting past that 20-minute mark, so I'm going to wrap it up here and then next week on the podcast, I'm going to go over all of the things that I have learned in the last two and a half years, since I made the decision, that have just reinforced these beliefs. I hope that you enjoyed this podcast. I hope it gives you some insight into why I run things the way I do. I appreciate you. This is, this is like a really vulnerable topic for me and I think it's just because it's so, like it's such a controversial thing. I think nobody, really nobody knows. Nobody knows what to do in this situation and I just think that people feel really judged when I talked about this. When I do talk about this and I don't want that I'm making this decision for my own family. You have to make your own decision for your family and I just appreciate that you're here and you're wanting to hear my story.
Thanks for hanging out and listening to the Decluttered Mom podcast. If you enjoyed this episode, it would mean the world if you could write a review or share this episode with a friend or your Instagram stories. And if you're on Instagram, be sure to follow me at thedeclutteredmom and send me a DM to say hi. I'd love to hear what you thought about today's episode. I hope you'll come back next week and hang out with us again.