There are seven billion people on this planet and about two billion of them use some form of social media (Statistica, 2015). My own mother is on social media and she’s 77 years old!
We’re all aware of the power of social media. It can turn a person’s life into a complete nightmare, but it can help us find a lost child (or a liver donor as we all now know).
I recently read an article in which a hockey mom suggested that the one thing social media has yet to conquer is human vanity. She argued that during tryouts, social media had the power to hurt other players or past players and that parents should never brag or gloat about your child’s accomplishments where hockey was concerned.
This is a problem for me. Bragging and pride walk a fine line. Bragging about your kids might lead to disdain by other parents and players. But a public display of pride in your kids? That could possibly lead to greater confidence and self-esteem. I’m not giving up on that!
I don’t ‘gloat’ (the definition of gloat is: “to show in an improper or selfish way that you are happy with your own success or another person's failure” – Miriam-Webster Dictionary) nor do I ‘brag’ (the definition of brag is: “a pompous or boastful statement; arrogant talk or manner”– Miriam-Webster Dictionary), but I do think sharing accomplishments on social media can be a strong statement of support for our kids since it’s one of their primary means of communication.
It’s like I tell my kids I love them all the time and they just roll their eyes. But if I tell them I love them on social media, I must really mean it! I have posted many hockey-related statements and pictures on social media that confirms my pride and joy in being a hockey mom. To suggest that a post celebrating my son’s first goal is malicious to the opposing goalie, or my other son’s shut-out in a tournament final taunts the runner-up team’s forwards is absolutely insane.
It means I’m proud of them and want their social media-savvy Bubby to know about it! I tell them I’m proud of them all the time and they just roll their eyes. But if I tell them I’m proud of them on social media, they know I mean it. And no one better tell me this is bragging or gloating.
All three of my kids have been cut from some hockey team or other along their minor hockey paths. Honestly, if a hockey mom has posted a status like, “Of course my son made the Bantam Rep B team – the other goalies were sieves!” she’d be really lonley in the hockey stands. These types of posts are malicious and cruel and the idiotic morons who post them should be called out. (Disclaimer: this is not an actual post – I made it up).
Social media is pervasive though, and it’s not going away. Parents and players alike should be held accountable to a certain code of social media ethics. Many associations dictate that the parents and kids sign a Fair Play Code for players and one for parents which among other terms, contains the following:
“It is understood the importance of using various electronic platforms within the sport of amateur hockey. I will not use an electronic application to send content which is bullying, harassing, abusive or found to be conduct unbecoming (text, e-mail, Myspace, Facebook, etc.).”
If you’re a bullying, harassing, or abusive hockey mom – shame on you. If you’re proud hockey mom posting pictures and updates about your kids – game on! We’re grown-ups now, and we should know the difference.
Three cheers for social media – and the glorious pride they show in our kids and our nation’s magnificent pastime!
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