I dabble in and out of Twitter chats and happened to jump into a really interesting conversation around guys using Pinterest in a weekend #pinchat not too long ago (#Pinchat Facebook group found here). One insightful conversationalist, Steve Schildwachter (@SteveS1 on Twitter), talked about how he used Pinterest to teach his daughter about social media. Here I was posting photos of Sean Connery and bacon and thinking I was innovative while Steve was finding meaningful utility with Pinterest that still skewed outside of its stereotypical usage of the time.
His comments and usage on Pinterest intrigued me enough to want to follow up with more questions. In all honesty, I know at some point that I’ll have kids down the road and working in the field that I do, I was eager to learn more about how to teach kids about the right and wrong ways to use social. Steve was gracious enough to answer a few of my questions below.
Drew Hawkins: Who discovered Pinterest first, you or your daughter?
Steve SchildwachterS: Part of my job is knowing what’s new in social media, so I found it first — but immediately thought of my daughter, who has already established behavior looking at magazines and catalogues for interesting designs, clothes, housewares and crafts.
DH: Do you all share an account or do you add each other as contributors on boards?
SS: My daughter is only 13 so we regulate her use of social media. It’s just not necessary for her to have a long list of different accounts so in this case we opened a joint account.
DH: How are you using Pinterest to teach her about social media safety?
SS: The key to social media safety for teenagers lies in the simple things: how many accounts one has, how much time one spends on them, how many connections one makes and above all what content gets posted. Walking through the sign-up process and managing the account together gives me opportunities almost every minute to teach by example.
SS: Social media is only part of my job, so I use many services but I’m efficient about my time spent on it.
DH: Any advice for parents who are trying to safely introduce their kids to social?
SS: Don’t rush into anything. First ask yourselves whether social media are really necessary in your child’s life. Second, set expectations about how much time will be allowed. Third, and this is non-negotiable, parents must have all usernames and passwords and be able to monitor at any time. That’s not Orwellian, that’s good parenting.
DH: Any other tidbits of info that you’d like to share?
SS: Spend lots of quality time with all your children. When they hit 15, you may think they can go off and be a little more independent — and they can. Just don’t cut back the time you spend with them. They need you more than ever in the teen years.
Steve not only shares how to slowly introduce kids to social media but also good safety measures to have with younger kids diving into our often tempermental online world. Working in a leadership role at an agency in Chicago, Steve knows first-hand the good, the bad and definitely the ugly sides of social media usage, especially in Pinterest. A special thanks to Steve for taking time out to give insight into part of his family’s online life!
How about yourself? What other more unique uses of Pinterest have you seen out there?