Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Let's Snap....

I first heard about Snapchat at a school counselor's conference back in 2012.  I was attending a breakout session having something to do with technology in the classroom and all the evils it held--particularly things like social media.  The main point of the presenter was not to equip us with valuable information and new ways to incorporate social media (and maybe...connect with students?) but rather, to villainize technology and make us grownups scared of and hateful toward it.  I eagerly conformed to my fellow attendees and instantly felt so offended about this new social media platform... Snapchat, that allows kids to post pictures that just magically go away after 24 hours.  There's no camera roll, no gallery, just a photo that disappears.  Which means, that kids would be sharing inappropriate and offensive photos that would then be spammed all over middle schools and high schools across the country world, all while their oblivious adults remain clueless to the photos that had left no trace.

And while there is some truth to this (believe me, I could definitely get on my school-counselor soapbox and preach about the slippery slope that is social media....) there's also an incredibly fun and playful side to Snapchat.  Not only that, but social media also plays an important role in connecting with people of all generations-- which in itself is somewhat a miracle.  I don't use it as much as I use my beloved Instagram--- mostly because I haven't figured out all the tricks to it yet, but I have to admit that when I log in, I love it.  This parenting gig just presents so many difficult little challenges-- like, how do I make sure our kids understand that all things are not taken lightly, yet still provide a house that is filled with fun and laughter?  Snapchat brings out a silly side in me that is sometimes a little bit repressed.  Growing up Bomgaarsian (hmmm....future book title??) was not exactly a practice in being silly.  I don't remember my parents letting their guard down and being vulnerable enough to show us their silly side on more than a handful of occasions.  And my initial gut reaction to a lot of things is to take them too seriously (not necessarily the result of my parents).  For years (maybe the last ten?) I've worked consciously on being more playful, more silly, more spontaneous.  I try to remind myself daily to not be defensive, to laugh about little things, and to not take myself and life so seriously-- and believe me, I'm so so so far from where I want to be when it comes to this goal.  But, I practice by hosting kitchen dance parties, singing in the shower (still have trouble with that one), playing 'pretend', "Karaoke" (acapella) wars with Mason at the dinner table, and table-top drum circles during supper.  And now... Snapchat.

It's a favorite in Spahnville-- and one that passes the time in a fun and silly way.   Proof that we Spahns do have a less serious side...and if my children someday forget this, I'll whip out these Snapchat recordings (because it turns out you can, actually, save Snaps) and show them with a smile.

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