Donna J. Hanke lives and works in Bar Harbor, ME. She blogs about her Massage Therapy practice at www.djhankelmt.wordpress.com You can also find her on facebook http://www.facebook.com/pages/Transformation-Massage-Therapy-Donna-J-Hanke-LMT/252350408120987 And, someday soon, she might even be on twitter!

Girl pointing on touch screen a social network memberConfession-computers intimidate me. That is beginning to change, so maybe I should start saying computers used to intimidate me. I am really beginning to appreciate them for the tools that they are.

This wasn’t always so.  I managed to avoid even owning one for most of my adult life. I finally broke down and bought a desktop about 6 years ago when it became apparent that it could streamline the management of my business. Duh! This winter, I purchased a chromebook so I don’t have to go down to the basement every time I want to check my e-mail. Maybe the next time I upgrade I’ll even be ready for a touchscreen!

I was a little behind the curve in joining Facebook, and when I did it was not for business purposes or even to make personal connections, but because I am a mom. It had suddenly occurred to me that although I might choose to avoid these methods of communication, my children are going to be growing up in a world immersed in them. They will need these tools to socialize, to network, and in their professional lives. If I didn’t understand what social media was or how it was being used, how on earth could I hope to guide them in developing healthy habits? Or how to use them safely? One of the main cornerstones of my parenting style has always been to model healthy behavior. So I figured I had better start with myself.

I signed up for Facebook the next day. I found that I do enjoy social media networking for many reasons, and am realizing how helpful it is as a business tool. I have discovered that I need to set time limits for myself. I also witness many users (adults! I guess we are all figuring this out) posting in a manner that I view as inappropriate. From the harmless TMI (or not so harmless TMI!), to posts that I read and think would you really want a potential employer to read that?.  And this will all inform my parenting when my children begin to use these technologies.

For a deeper discussion of this issue, I found this article pretty well-balanced.

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/10/health/views/seeing-social-media-as-adolescent-portal-more-than-pitfall.html?_r=0

If you have children using social media, I would love to hear what guidelines and boundaries are working, or not, for you.

Our first in-person workshop in 2+ years is happening September 24!

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