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Let other social media users be

Friday June 23 2017

Nobody is obligated to be your children’s role

Nobody is obligated to be your children’s role model, whether on or off social media. That is your job. PHOTO|FILE| NATION MEDIA GROUP 

JOAN THATIAH
By JOAN THATIAH
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‘A necessary evil’ is an appropriate name for social media today. While we can’t quite live without it now that most interactions, whether social or business, happen online, it can also hurt. And so lot of evils have been perpetuated on social media platforms in the recent past, ranging from con men and women prowling these sites looking for their next victims to cyber bullying so intense it has resulted in suicides.

There has also been something else: An interesting breed of men and women, parents who are online every day scouring through pages and posts looking for men and women who are not being ‘good role models’.

Recently, Amber Rose, an American model and actress best known for posting raunchy photos of herself online found herself under attack from an Instagram fan who suggested that she tone down her image and try to become a better role model to youngsters who include this fan’s teenage child. In a candid response to this fan, Amber said that she wasn’t on social media to be role model to anybody’s children.

While she could have said it a little more politely, I agree with her. Nudity and its use to as a form of expression by women is a touchy subject so I will not get into the debate of whether or not women should post or even take raunchy photos of themselves. My message to every parent out there though is that no one is obligated to be a good role model to your children on or off social media. That is your job. It is from you that your little ones should learn how to be a decent human being, not all those men and women on social media.

As a parent, it is YOUR obligation to ensure that your young children are not on social media in the first place. And if you think that they are old enough to be in there, it is up to you to filter what they see and hear.

That time you spend whining about how this person or the other is being a bad role model could actually be spent modelling good behaviour. If need be, seek out actual physical role models who will show your child. Do not expect random celebrities on Instagram to fill in these shoes. 

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You can’t change the image that another wants to portray online. You however have control over the kind of children you raise, and whether or not they grow up to be adults with wisdom to know the kind of material to consume.

Expecting celebrities to parent your children online is being lazy. Be a responsible parent. Do your part. The rest will fall in place.

This is how you will change the world. Properly parenting your own, one child at a time. Not outing celebrities who are being ‘bad’ role models.

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