Is it a bad thing to talk to your kids via social media?

I have a pretty short answer for this: No. OK, you're not getting off that easy; regular readers will know that I can get a bit long-winded.

I have a pretty short answer for this: No. OK, you're not getting off that easy; regular readers will know that I can get a bit long-winded. But I think this is important and would like for readers to weigh in.

Earlier this week, I asked why my oldest kid didn't tweet anymore. It was really more of a look at generational differences in use of social media and how that might affect our planning for communication systems between parents, students, teachers, and staff. However, one reader felt it was sad "that face-to-face communications with our kids has gone the way of social media too."

I should be clear. I talk with my kids face-to-face a lot. I'm lucky enough to have a job with flexible hours and a minimal commute, so, despite lots of commitments (whether that's working extra at night, running kids to various activities, or playing chauffeur), face-time isn't much of a problem for us. Such is not the case for an awful lot of families.

Even for us, reading tweets or Facebook posts about some of the little things during the day gives us insights that we might not otherwise have. "How was your day?" turns from "Fine" at the dinner table to an electronic exchange over a funny comment sometime during the day on homework, friends, or even each other.

What about the families, though, whose work schedules don't allow for the interactions they so badly need? Asynchronous communication, is, without a doubt, superior to no communication. As a teacher, I saw the effects all too often of poor communication and fractured schedules. Whether the social media tools connect kids with parents or teachers with parents (other teachers will know that the parents you see on Parents' Night are rarely the parents with whom you really need to talk), they have value in this space.

Obviously, social media can't replace face-to-face communication with your kids. The way I see it, though, any tools we have at our disposal to stay engaged with our kids are certainly worth using.

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