Social networking for families.

As I proceed through my Social Media course this summer, I realize why the course is so exciting.  The power, impact, and immediacy of social media are clearly demonstrable.  Nowhere is that more true than within my own family.  In less than two years, the change within my family’s dynamic is striking.

Let me be clear, online social media is no replacement for in-person interaction.  I cannot and should not raise my children via social media alone.  The value of family dinners, discipline, playtime, laughter, and trips to Stewart’s for ice cream cannot be ignored.

However, when it comes to geographic separation, the value of social media is immense.  Social networking is especially valuable.  I have connections to my brother, parents, aunts, uncles, cousins, in-laws, nieces, nephews, and even grandparents via Facebook.  We are able to share news, schedule get-togethers, share photos, and chat.  Our kids are actively involved.  We often get requests from the little guys asking, “Can we ‘Facebook’ a video to Grandma?”  My brother lives more than two thousand miles away.  By using social networking and video chats, that distance seems much smaller and less painful.

Blogging has helped, too.  My mother has a blog.  So does my brother.  I get frequent and helpful commentary from family members on this blog.

That’s the beauty of social media tools.  Anybody can use them.  I often get comments from individuals saying that using social media is too hard or scary, especially for retirees.  “Nah,” I tell them, “my grandmother is active on Facebook.  She uses it to keep up with her friends and family.  She’s an example for all of us.”  Businesses and organizations do not necessarily have to hire specialized IT personnel to manage their social networks.   Individuals who experiment with social media within their family lives become more effective with social media on the job.  Bonus!

So, I’m debating whether or not to use social media to solve a minor family challenge.  Our four-year old is starting to bring home those preschool art projects.   Lots of ’em.  The fridge is already full.  He has also taken an interest in “writing” stories.  Technically, he dictates them to his babysitter while I head off to Social Media class.  They’re a bit rambling, but they’re funny.  It would be a shame to lose them.  I wonder, would it be effective to upload the stories to a blog?  Maybe add some photos of his projects? We could create a private blog, accessible only to family and specific friends. Are there other social media tools that we should explore for this situation?

What do you think?

Leave a comment


  1. springtimesoul

     /  June 7, 2010

    I would read Tim’s blog 😀


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