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Two cars with bumper stickers: one says My child is an honor student at Central High School; the other says My kid's post got 30,000 reblogs on Tumblr

Proud parent

Proud parent published on

So your kid’s online, and suddenly they’re being exposed to all kinds of temptations — and you may not always be there to help them make the right choice. It’s time to have The Talk.

Sit them down and explain, “When someone likes like another person’s content very much, they sometimes Like or Favorite it. If it’s very special content, they may decide to reblog it.

“And when the time is right for you, that’s something you’ll probably want to explore for yourself.”

Make sure you talk about not pressuring others to like or reblog your content, and about how nobody should ever do that to them.

And then —tactfully— broach the subject of metrics. How getting a lot of likes, shares, retweets, notes and comments can feel really great… but that it’s easy to fall into the trap of chasing numbers instead of actual connections with other people. And how that can lead you to lose your sense of yourself and your own wonderful, invaluable voice.

“I don’t ever want you to feel your worth as a person depends on how many followers you have, or how many people are liking or sharing your content,” you could say. “Your voice is worthwhile in and of itself. Listen, maybe you’ll have five or ten or thousands of people who love what you have to say. Which is great. Just don’t ever confuse loving your content with loving you.

“That said” (and here a hug wouldn’t be out of place) “as long as I’m online, you’ll always be able to count on at least one like for everything you post.”

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