If you think joining Facebook and Twitter is going to endear you to your grandchildren and make you seem hipper than the average grandparent, I’ll give you a second guess. Facebook is more popular among those over 40 than the young-adult crowd. Your grandchildren may be hanging out elsewhere.
They’re not trying to get away from you. Young people just have their own ideas about what it is to be social. Let’s respect that.
Still, you can see what they’re up to if you show up at the right venues. Here are a few of the social media hotspots young people are flocking to these days.
Instagram – Where do you go if you spend most of your time on your phone and you don’t want to be on Facebook? Instagram, of course. Instagrammers share photos and videos with each other through their smartphones, but you can access the site if you have an Instagram app on your PC. Two popular ones are Webbygram and Webstagram. You have to have an Instagram account, though. Sign up at https://instagram.com.
Snapchat – Snapchat is the coolest thing since blue cotton candy. You can take a photo or a video with your phone, add a caption, and share it. Young people like it because their shares disappear after 10 seconds. So, if you snooze, you lose. Wake up and log on at www.snapchat.com.
Kik – If you get a kick out of seeing what your grandchildren are up to, no matter how old they are, then you’ll love Kik. It’s a chat app you can download to your smartphone, which means you can send a quick note to Junior to bring you some eggs when he drops by for dinner. www.kik.com
Yik Yak – Ever wonder what Millennials are doing on their phones all the time? They might be Yik-Yakking. This mobile app streams a live newsfeed of what people are posting within a 1.5-mile radius, so if your grandchildren are close by, you can see what they’re yakking about. It almost feels like spying. One problem with Yik Yak is that posters are often anonymous, so you may not know which poster is your Little Miss Prissy. Try it anyway: www.yikyakapp.com
Tumblr – Tumblr is a social blogging platform. While blogging is popular among people from all backgrounds and every generation, Tumblr is unique in that it is a blogging platform that is also a social community, which might be why young’uns like it so well. Posts are highly visual and members can post quickly and easily. Readers can then like and interact quickly and easily. Join Tumblr at www.tumblr.com.
Periscope – Yes, here’s another mobile app. What Periscope allows users to do is share a video in real time. If your grandchildren are into that, they may very well be on Periscope. www.periscope.tv
Fair Warning: Be Prepared for the Unexpected
Let’s face it, your grandkids are human. When they think nobody is looking, they could be up to stuff that won’t meet your approval.
If you’re thinking you’d like to keep tabs on your grandchildren and you want to do that through social media, I’d recommend you don’t. First off, they may feel like they’re being spied on, and if your loved one catches you doing it, it might hurt your relationship with them.
A better approach is to simply ask them if they use the services and if they’d mind you connecting with them through these apps. If they give you the go ahead, have some fun. )))