My daughter is one of my favorite social-media subjects and has been since she was tiny. I've posted pictures of her in full princess garb, comments about her missing teeth, videos of her learning how to play the piano, and shots from her elementary-school dances and parties. I've chronicled my daughter's life for the enjoyment of my connected friends and family.
I have occasionally read warnings that someday her generation is going to get mad about the way they've been paraded about. Well, I am here to tell you, they are not going to get mad. They are going to get even.
Grace is 13, soon to be 14, and on Snapchat. I joined it, too (and Vine and Tumblr), but, really, it's all I can do to keep up with my other social channels. Like many a weary mom, I stick to Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
Grace is on all of the apps, all the time, including Whatsapp and Pinterest. She texts and clicks around so much that I lose track of whether she's exchanging notes from Spanish class or pinning pictures of T-shirts she wants. Sometimes she raises the phone up and I assume—I don't know, really—she's just looking at something. It's taken me months to realize she is often training her camera at something in the house—namely the cats, her brother, or me—and Snapchatting that image to her followers. For their amusement.
The nature of Snapchat, of course, is that by the time I found out she uses me as comedy material, I couldn't go back and see any of the images. When pressed, she pretended not to know what I was talking about. "I need you to give me an example of a time you filmed me for Snapchat," I demanded.
She relented. "Well, there was that time you did the Whip," she said. In fact, she saved the video because she liked it so much, so she shared it with me. She's written the words "On fleek" across my dancing image, so that's what went on her Snapchat, me dancing and singing through our living room.
She laughs about me with her friends in the exact same way I laugh about her with my friends. The strange thing is, I find it sweet and comforting. Maybe just the fact that I am a big enough star in her universe to merit a space on her Snapchat makes me happy. Maybe this is how we show love and affection in 2016, by posting the people who matter most to us.
Do you think I should tweet that thought out to my friends? Or is writing this all up in a blog enough?