How Your Family Can Benefit from Social Media

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Today is another social media day and my friend Mandy Edwards talks about how families can not only benefit from social media but embrace it in a way that it is fun and bring our relationship with our chilren even to a higher level.

Using social media is among the most common activity of today’s children and adolescents. Ok, there are some risks inherent to online social networking, but there are also many potential benefits. Social networking can provide opportunities for new relationships as well as strengthening existing relationships, whether your kids’ friends are close to home or across the world. It’s important to be vigilant when your kids are getting involved in online social networking, but it’s also good to encourage positive relationships through various avenues, including the Internet.

I know you will enjoy today’s post from my friend Mandy who I also met in the same business networking group online where we learn and receive input from each other. So, I will not put you on hold any longer; here is Mandy!

 

How Your Family Can Benefit from Social Media1 How Your Family Can Benefit from Social Media

How Your Family Can Benefit from Social Media

by Mandy Edwards

How Your Family Can Benefit from Social Media

“Okay sweetie, let me take a picture so I can post it on Facebook for grandma.”

“I saw where you tweeted you ate at Olive Garden!  Was it good?”

“Oooh, I love the pin of that recipe you made last time you were home.”

Any of these sound familiar?

Social media has integrated itself into our lives – both professionally and personally.

I always blog about how social media can benefit your business, but today I’m blogging about how families can benefit from social media.  Yes, families can benefit.

Example: me.

Born in Iowa, I moved to Missouri when I was 10, then Georgia when I was 16.   I have lived in a lot of places.  My mom was an Army brat.  My dad lived in one town for the first 28 years of his life.  Moves and military have my family spread everywhere.  My parents live in Louisiana, I am in Georgia, my sister is in South Carolina (until October, then the Marines are moving them to Southern California) and my extended family lives in Missouri, Texas and Tennessee.  Without social media we would have such a disconnect.  But thanks to it, we stay in touch more than we did B.F., you know, Before Facebook.

Social media does a wonderful job of keeping grandparents up on what their grandkids are doing.  Parents overseas in the military can Skype each day with their loved ones back home.

Social media is meant to be social.  We can let those who cannot be with us be a part of our lives.  I know my mom appreciates seeing all the pictures of the things my two girls do – she feels likes she’s here while being 12 hours away.

Some benefits of families using social media are…

  1. More Involvement – when families use social media to stay in touch, they are more involved in each others’ lives.  It’s like a family reunion when everyone is on!
  2. Closer Relationships – by staying involved, relationships can become closer.  I know with my mom on Facebook, I message back and forth more than we talk on the phone.  Having that ongoing conversation helps with communication.
  3. Parents can keep up on their kids – If you are friends with your kids, then you can see who they are interacting with.  And trust me, you will want to do this.  I am still thankful we didn’t have Facebook when I was in high school and college.
  4. Sharing the Love – Memories.  Remembering past events.  Family members can post pictures of loved ones gone before us and share the great memories they had.  You can see a loved one’s wedding pictures if you couldn’t make it.

Of course, there is always a flip side to the benefits, but that can be another post on another day.

In the grand scheme of life, communication is key.  Social media provides an effective and efficient way for family members to interact.  With the launch of Google+’s Hangout, multiple family members can video chat while living in several different states.

In today’s world, families are busy and there is a communication breakdown.   Family dinners are a thing of time gone by – fast food dinners in the car between dance and ball practice are the norm.  Teens spend more time with their noses down texting.  Video games keeps tweens glued to the TV.  Social media brings all of them away from this and allows them to video chat and interact with their family members, especially those who do not live close.

What are some ways your family is benefitting from social media?  Comment below!  I’d love to hear!

Mandy Edwards1 How Your Family Can Benefit from Social MediaAbout Mandy Edwards

Mandy Edwards is the owner of ME Marketing Services, a marketing firm in Statesboro, Georgia that specializes in social media marketing for small businesses.  The local go-to person on spcial media, Mandy is a momprenuer , President of her local chapter of BNI – Business Networking International and 2013 Chair for her local Relay for Life.

For more information on Mandy, please visit www.memarketingservices.com.  You can also follow her on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter (@memktgservices).

 

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Comments

  1. Olga, thanks for sharing to us this great post written by Mandy. Indeed, social media has really been a great help to families that are miles away from each other. And I agree with you> It really does help us keep in touch with our families and having a closer relationship with them.

  2. Awesome post as usual Mandy! Social media IS meant to be social. And it has many benefits to building and maintaining relationships both business and personal. Love it.

  3. Mandy, I am so glad for social media. As my children have grown up and moved, I find that it really helps our families to stay in touch! Communication is everything.

  4. What a dynamic pairing! My mother was resistant to digital pics and the internet at first….then when the grandkids began to encourage her to use it to keep up with them she broke loose and hasn’t looked back. I now find out things that are going with her on FB rather than a phone call. LOL! Love the connectivity! Great post!

  5. Like you Mandy some of our family live more than ten hours away. Since our four grandbabies are those “some” we love to check our Facebook pages for the newest pictures of the kids. They grow so fast, time is so precious and with social media our family stays in touch daily, in between the weekly phone calls. Thanks for bringing social media and it’s benefits to our attention…who knows there may be some baby-boomers out there that need to read this.

  6. I have seen many family relationships (long distance) improve dramatically because they have a way to connect on a regular basis! Great article! Thanks for sharing Olga and Mandy!

  7. Great post! It is true, I am in touch with so many more friends because of fb and able to see photos of my friend’s children back home in England.

  8. Thanks Olga for having Mandy guest post. If you aren’t following Mandy you should be. :) Have an awesome weekend Olga :)

  9. Carrie Huskey says:

    This article is so cool. Its thru Facebook that I found out my niece is married with a little boy and is pregnant again. Great blog. Thanks

  10. This is a great way to keep up and I use it that way too !! I have friends in New York that I have been missing that I can talk to and see on Facebook.

  11. That’s all my husband uses Facebook for to see our kids and pictures of our grand! He connects with an old friend from time to time.

  12. You know I still come across people who refuse to ‘get on the bandwagon’…they see it as people being insensitive and trying to be ‘cool’. The way you brought light to this particular avenue of social media is wonderful! It is just so beneficial in so many ways..

  13. Yeah, I can definitely see social media playing more and more of a prevalent role within my own family. At family events or gatherings, I notice that certain things that I have posted online will naturally come up during conversations. I suppose you can call it a ‘conversational starter’ in a sense =)

  14. This is a great Olga! Thanks for sharing, Mandy’s post! I agree! “Social media is meant to be social. We can let those who cannot be with us be a part of our lives.” It has really been such a gift for me. I’ve found old friends and connected with new ones! I love sharing pics as well!

  15. Great post! Our family has a Facebook group to keep up with everyone. That way, pictures of children are kept from snooping eyes! Also, my 91 year old mom now skypes with her grand kids and others. It’s fantastic!

  16. I do love the benefits of Facebook to feel closer to relatives and friends. I live in California and have a niece in Colorado that I rarely see. It’s fun to watch her kids grow and see what she is up to. It does help us stay connected.
    Thanks for a great post.

  17. I think we can all see the benefits of connectedness with social media. Of course there are negatives to everything if we look hard enough but I think the positives far outweigh them :)

  18. Great post. We are also spread out all over and it has been such a blessing. I have been able to reconnect with cousins whom I have not seen almost since we were children and would likely not have found without a tremendous amount of work. Social media makes it so easy to keep up.

  19. I think it can certainly be a great tool to unite a family and share life together. It certainly plays a big role in our own family environment and since I know live in South Africa it enables the maintenance of close relationshps that would not have ben possible very many years ago!

  20. I have really enjoyed reconnecting with old friends using social media. This has been amazing and fun.

  21. Great post! I would’ve lost contact with many old friends if it weren’t for facebook.

  22. Mandy, I could not agree more that parents who are not using social media to help them connect with their kids are missing out – it’s like they don’t speak their kids’ language. My family is half here and half in Spain, so we’d be lost without Skype. I also put a lot of photos on FB so they can see the kids often. What would we do without it?

  23. Great post Mandy! It’s true how social media can help families. Our extended family grew apart over the years and this summer my cousin used Facebook to organize a family reunion. It was the first time many had seen each other in almost 20 years.

  24. For me personally social media is a way to share real stories about my family and also it is a way to educate my kids what to post on Facebook and what we should not. .They are aware of what is appropriate …

    It is a great relationship tool. Just some people abuse it and make it an advertising forum 24/7..

    Good points

    Tatyana

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