Greetings from Portland, Oregon where I’m about to do a seminar on using social media to better reach families at the Oregon Parent Education Conference #OPECConf. I did a similar seminar last week in South Carolina for a group of Adlerian psychologists. I’ve done this seminar enough to know that there are the lovers and the haters of using technology to reach families. So I have a few questions for you to consider if you are thinking about using technology to engage families. Question 1. Who DOESN’T use Social Media?
Clearly, early everyone uses social media! Every generation is using the Internet/SM in some capacity. Check it out here: http://www.pewinternet.org/fact-sheets/social-networking-fact-sheet/ Question 2: Are current and future parents online? YES!
- 95% of young people use the internet.
- 93% of young people have a computer or have access to one at home.
Here is the capper:
- Parents prefer participating in activities with their kids that involve older media
- Namely, families love love to snuggle up and watch TV together for family time.
- Teens (73% of them) are spending more and more time on social media.
I know, I know…enough numbers. But the truth is, I love watching TV with my kids. They love watching any screen time. It is common for me to hear my 13 year old posting comments on Instagram on a minute-by-minute basis. Another truth is that many of us get our information online, and much of that is from social media. I follow many parenting education programs on FB and Twitter, and I know many other parents do so as well. Here is one more truth. If we want to better reach families and help educate them on family life issues, we must use technology (especially social media) to engage families. That can look different depending on what you do or where you do it. And it might mean a strong learning curve for us (hence the webinar). But in the end, we need to reach parents where they are. On technology. And if we are PARENTS, we need to be a bit more selective about where we get our parenting information. But that is a blog for another day.