Lynn JataniaMy middle daughter hates looking over my shoulder when I’m on my Instagram account and seeing that I have many, many unwatched “stories.”

Stories in Instagram are usually short video clips that are temporary – they exist for 24 hours and then they are gone. You can save favourite stories as ‘highlights’ that live on your profile, but for the most part they’re intended to disappear.

Lynn JataniaIt’s looking more and more like social distancing could go on for several months. Our school board has announced that computer-based learning from home will be introduced shortly; other provinces have announced school closures running through to the end of the year and we expect ours to follow suit soon.

Photo of Lynn JataniaWe’re living in a strange and uncertain time. Already, as parents, we’re feeling our way to the right set of rules and guidelines for screens and social media. But now that we’re facing an extended time of quarantine and social distancing, the rules are bending and changing every day.

By Samantha McAleese, research associate at MediaSmarts and
David Fowler, vice-president, marketing and communications at CIRA.

Author: Lynn JataniaOne of the hardest things to do as a parent is let go.

Author: Lynn Jatania

One of the hardest things to do as a parent is let go.

Author: Lynn JataniaOur youngest daughter, who is in Grade Seven this year, is moving up the social media ladder.

She has her own tablet to use on the Wi-Fi at home and recently got her own Instagram account. She’s really loving the ability to share pics with her friends and chat with them online – especially because her two older siblings have been Instagramming and texting for at least three years now.

My youngest daughter has a brand new Instagram account, and she’s excited about it. Unlike my older two, she actually does use it to post. Since she doesn’t have a cell phone she uses her tablet at home, so her posts are always things we are doing around the house: artwork or craft projects she’s done, what we’re having for dinner, or the occasional nice outfit she wants to share.

The other day I was on the phone with my sister – our land line, not a cell phone – and I said to her, “You’re my person.” This is a well-known phrase from the TV show Grey’s Anatomy; Meredith Grey and Cristina Yang used to say it to each other to cement the closeness of their friendship.

Here’s a weird thing: my kids don’t use social media to be, you know, social.

The other day, I was scrolling through my own Instagram feed, while my youngest daughter was looking over my shoulder. She was asking why I follow every account I follow. I explained time and again that each account was a friend of mine – some closer than others, but, for the most part, people I’ve met at some point in life and who I wanted to keep in touch with.

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