Social Media & The Holidays

As we move into the bulk of the holiday season, we are being exposed to loads of “holiday cheer.” What does it imply? This is the season that family is celebrated, gratefulness is celebrated, and the idea of gift giving is heavily implied- all of which makes the holidays more fun of course.

During this time, social media hits a huge surge. People are proud to show off their holiday spirit,  gifts/goodies, and immaculate words of wisdom on how to celebrate the holiday. Overall, yes, it is precious,  fine and dandy- rainbows and sunshine.

However, I always felt like it conveyed the wrong message. It gave the impression that there isn’t really the thoughtfulness of the holidays but rather the idea about it. Basically, it was all a gimmick and a way for some to show off on their social media timeline, stories, etc.

Many children see the holidays differently.  It is colorful, fun, and the anticipation of Santa visiting is super exciting. They get to get gifts, enjoy the best kind of sugary treats, and of course the nice long break from school. It is a good memory for most children for this time of year.

Nowadays, you see kids posing next to trees and being recorded ripping open gifts on Christmas Day. I won’t ever criticize a parent for recording memories with their child as the memories are precious. But I stress that you understand and keep in mind all families are not alike.

As I mentioned in my last blog post, children do not come from the same background. Some may come from families that allow a different experience, but something that you should keep in mind is that the holidays are not always celebrated due whatever reason.

The holidays should be fun and memorable.

Social media business will never end, and you should expect that if your child has access to any of them that they will be posting along with their friends about their celebrations and possibly the gifts they receive. If you are okay with them using it that is okay. But if that is the case, teach them what they should and should not post. By no means is this controlling – you are educating them to consider others feelings. There are others, and others matter just as much as them. Not everyone receives gifts, gets to celebrate, and maybe emotionally going through something. The holidays can be challenging.

I’ll provide an example –  I had a Christmas year that wasn’t so great. But whatever I received and did on that day I celebrated and posted proudly because I wanted to show my gratefulness. Normally I don’t easily get bothered by others, but I remember celebrities receiving expensive purses, new cars, designer shoes, and such lavish gifts that I felt they received timelessly throughout the year.

They spent that Christmas Day endlessly boasting about their gifts that ultimately was no different to what they already owned. And that trend picked up, where now children post their iPads, their newest shoes, or even their car. What does that do?

In the simplest terms: envy, sadness, and even questions from young children like, “why didn’t Santa bring me an iPad or iPhone? I was also a good this year.”

It is never okay to let a child feel that towards another for any reason. It’s natural for children to feel envious about certain things, but it is never okay for them to feel that way during a holiday.

Parents, it is so incredibly important for you to instill the idea that your child’s first instinct should not be about posting their newest items. In fact, encourage them to do a nice screen free morning. Afterwards, whatever is shared is meant to just keep their friends up to date and thank those who contributed to their holiday.

The holidays are not about showing off your toys and other gifts. This also applies to adults! Our children model our behaviors. The holidays are about cheer, and not even the cliche way. It truly is a wonderful time to celebrate family, giving, laughter, and celebrate every moment that has led up to the end of the year.

Don’t spoil the mood by showing off. One thing I have implemented myself is that people know what they are doing. When you choose to show off your items, you are choosing to express something you feel someone may not have. And that may seem okay but understand not everyone can experience that.

Although I cannot dictate what you post or show, I absolutely stand by being grateful. Be grateful for your parents, your peers, mentors, your friends, for those who stood by your side for the year.

Happy holidays! Merry Christmas! Tis the season to celebrate. Life is too short to spend time worrying about your social media life. Cherish and be grateful for what you have in front of you and celebrate all that was given to you and what you can also give and share.