Usually when you write a blog post, you start with a dramatic headline, then you open with a funny story and slowly unfold your main point, finally revealing the aforementioned drama that headline promised. If you’re a parent though, you’re too busy for those shenanigans, so let’s get right to the point.
The #1 lie parents believe about social media is that that they have to be as tech savvy as their kids.
Why is that a lie? Because you will NEVER be as tech savvy as your kids.
How do I know? Well, I used an iPhone for the first time when I was 30. My daughter used an iPhone for the first time when she was 4. If someone started learning karate when they were 30, and someone started learning it when they were 4, in the long run, who do you think is going to be better?
I started my first blog more than 10 years ago. I spend 50 percent of my week working on social media and writing about trends. I help coach individuals and businesses about using social media. And every time I speak to a group of high school students at a youth group event, I learn something completely new about technology from them.
Every day, it’s wired into every part of their lives. At school, at home, at play, they are connected to a constant stream of technology. Seeing that, we fear they are about to leave us in the dust. We feel like we are failing because we don’t know how to use Snapchat or even understand if Tinder is something we should be worried about. Overwhelmed and exhausted, we do what we usually do when we feel like a failure in a certain part of life—we avoid it.
Most parents I know tried to keep up with their kids, realized they couldn’t be experts at the entire Internet, and just threw in the white flag of surrender. They won’t even enter the conversation because they feel so far behind the digital eight ball. Out of fear and frustration, we all become virtual ostriches with our heads in the sand.
What’s the solution to this dilemma?
Focus more on truth than technology.
Instead of trying to keep up with ever changing trends, hold on to never changing truths.
For example, treating other people the way you’d want to be treated.
That’s a core truth of the Acuff house. (We invented that one by the way, you’d probably never heard it before. We call it the “Rule of Golden.”)
That rule applies to any new technology that comes out. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram . . . When my kids eventually use these, that’s one of the truths I’ll teach them to bring to the technology. That will impact the photos they share, the tweets they send, and what they write on each other’s walls.
Years from now, when the technology they’re using has changed and they’re creating scent-based holograms, the truth will still be the truth.
You will never be as tech savvy as your kids, but that’s okay.
Be the leader of truth in your house, that’s far more important.
Jon Acuff is the New York Times Bestselling author of 4 books. He lives in Nashville, TN with his wife and two daughters. Read more of his work at Acuff.me, StuffChristiansLike.net or on Twitter @JonAcuff.