Do you have a better relationship with your teenager’s answering machine than with them?
Gone are the days where people would call one another on landlines and have long, uninterrupted conversations. Welcome to 2017, where there is constant multitasking, and everyone has short, abrupt text conversations more often than human interactions.
What’s a family to do, when the tried-and-true methods of communication fail? How can families stay connected? The answer, dear friends, is social media.
Now, before the inevitable eye rolling begins, social media isn’t all bad. Yes, it consumes teenagers’ lives and uses 99 percent of our data plans, but here’s the good news; teens are always on it. This means that becoming a cool parent and signing up for Facebook and Instagram may mean more communication with teens on their level. This means social media can provide more frequent interactions with teens so parents can bypass the mumbles and groans and learn more about their everyday life.
Still not convinced that social media is the way to go? These fun ways to stay connected with teens will bring you over to the dark side.
Upload Your Memories
Reminiscing about our childhoods is one of the deepest ways to connect with loved ones. Unfortunately, these types of memories are often trapped in the confines of photo albums and piled high in spare cupboards and boxes. Thankfully, the visual aspects of Instagram and Facebook provide an ideal medium to upload and post old family photos.
Not only do these once hidden photographs stir up some good old-fashioned nostalgia, but they can also provide a great deal of fun as well. Randomly uploading a long-lost family photo can spark a conversation about childhood memories, allow siblings to poke fun at one another, and promote a feeling of togetherness.
As children grow up and move on it can be difficult to connect. Although an unlikely ally, social media can help create special moments when families are far apart. Try it out; upload an old photo today and see the type of fun conversation it sparks amongst family.
Send Funny Memes
Families that laugh together stay together, isn’t that what they say? Whether or not this is how the saying goes, it is nonetheless true. The more fun families have together; the more likely kids are to come around.
So, how can social media spark a little fun and laughter? One word: memes. A meme is a funny picture captioned with relatable text, but believe us, they are much funnier than the description. It’s nearly impossible to scroll through Facebook or Instagram feeds without seeing a handful of memes, and there’s a reason for this; they’re hilarious!
Sharing memes and tagging family members when one reminds you of them is a great way to show family you’re thinking about them. It’s a quick way to brighten everyone’s day and laugh a little. Even if you’re laughing at your phone alone, knowing that your loved one is laughing on the other end can make you feel more connected.
Sending kids off to college doesn’t have to be depressing! Although a newly independent teen may struggle finding the time to call, they always have time for their beloved social media.
While parental instincts might mean insisting on weekly phone calls, it’s more likely that everyone is fighting a losing battle. So, if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em!
Sign up for Facebook and Instagram and add your children. While they may reject your friend requests at first, promises to withhold embarrassing comments may do the trick! Social media can be a great way to stay connected and see what teens are up to and who they are hanging out with. This isn’t about online spying – remember, most social profiles are public, or the owner must provide access – but actually involving yourself in their online community and communicating through mediums that teens are more comfortable with.
What is there to lose? Enlist social media to help mend disconnected relationships or strengthen blossoming ones more than ever before.
Kali Muir is an ambitious freelance writer with a BA in Communications. She was born in Canada but has since lived in Norway, Denmark, and England. Her work experience is as diverse as her past addresses, including roles in technical communication, corporate communication, marketing, and article writing. She has experience working in varied business sectors: Oil & Gas, Engineering & Technology, Clothing & Equipment Retail, and Creative Writing. Follow Kali’s professional and personal journey at www.kalimuir.com, or connect with her on LinkedIn and Twitter.