My Reply to Ms. Hall

Today started off sort of strange. In the pseudo-world of Facebook, I'm seeing well over a dozen repostings of this blog by well-meaning mom Kim Hall on my news feed from friends all over the country.  To summarize, Ms. Hall is annoyed by a girl posting a provocative photo that her teenage sons can see on their social media.  She is both encouraging clean posts by teenagers and drawing a line in the sand for what her family will permit their sons to see.

I have a radical suggestion for her that may not go over well, even with my closest friends: get your kids off social media, period.

Trying to sneak my iPhone, are ya?

I know, it's crazy.

This is a modern world.  Am I just not "with it?"

Listen, I see lots of positive uses for social media.  But is it a realm that I want my two oldest tween children engaged in?  Is it thoroughly uplifting, wholesome, positive, and honorable?  Is there any real way to monitor what's being posted and said and videoed and shared?  No, no, and no.

And here's the thing: even though I feel they are on the mature side for their age, there are many times that my older kids act immature.  They're KIDS.  And although I haven't parented full-on teens, from what I have seen, sometimes the maturity issue slides downhill with the ramping up of hormones.  Yes, they have imperfect judgment skills and their friends also have imperfect judgment skills.  Am I really going to put them in a "digital room" where they can all expose each other to their evolving and whimsical thoughts, words, and actions?  

It's sort of like giving knives to a room full of kindergarteners.  They will seize the chance to have access to something novel and adult-like and, by golly, they will use it.  At first it might be smooth sailing and everyone following Mom's instructions, but eventually, with time, somebody will get hurt. It evolves into something that I, as the parent, never intended for it to be--a time consuming distraction that gives others influence and access to my child.

Even by policing my kids, I know I can't go back and change the damage when it occurs.  As my dad said many a time when I was learning to drive: "It's not you I'm worried about. It's the other guy."

A real live book!

When I look at my kids' lives, they are missing ABSOLUTELY NOTHING by not being on social media.  Their days are brimming from start to finish with life-building, spirit-affirming endeavors.  They are focused on schoolwork, running, swimming, chores, teams, piano, afterschool clubs, homework, and family time until they flop in their beds tired and satisfied after a full day.  

In an age of instant communication (which takes little to no skill), their lack of access to texting and social media (although they have plenty of access to technology as needed--cue the family newsletter that is desktop published each week by my eldest) is about us helping them engage others in an authentic manner and keeping them focused on what's important--knowing God, learning to be a servant-leader, and developing trusting in-person relationships with their friends.

They have complete freedom from the distraction of posts, photos, status updates, their number of likes, must-see videos, and push notifications.

Freedom to just be kids.

This seems like common sense to me.  Not to you?  It's okay--I know I'm in the minority here. I have many friends who have supplied their kids with iphones, itouches, Instagram accounts, Facebook pages, Snapchat (!), and more.  I know they are well-meaning parents trying their best, just like me.

But for now, this mama is going to keep her kids as focused as possible on the things that we deem worthy of their time--those treasured, finite years of childhood--and I'm unafraid to say that social media is out.


  1. Kristin, I just found you through a mutual friend, Lynn Everett. She said we have kindred spirits, and certainly do agree. I applaud you for the outstanding job you’re doing as a 21st Century mom. The challenges are before you, but you’re meeting them well! I pray God’s abundant blessings on you as you rear your children.
    Careen Strange

    1. Thank you for your kind words, Careen! They were a soothing balm that I needed on this particular day. May God bless you as well, my kindred spirit! (Love me some Lynn Everett--she's the best--)