I have a girl who loves Instagram. It gives her an outlet to share her creativity, find inspiration, and connect with people (mostly teens) who share her same interests. She cultivates her account with care and intention. She is considerate when replying to comments and she frequently checks in with me seeking advice and guidance. Her account is now close to 2,000 followers.
She sought out permission to post that she was attending the Duct Tape Festival. She understands that her public crafting account is for her crafts, not for sharing any personal information or posting pictures of herself. Since this was craft related, and she was with her parents, we felt it was okay to share that she was attending this event and share pictures of herself at the event.
She was not the only one sharing photos of this festival and #ducktapefestival. Some of her favorite crafters were also milling about buying, selling or seeking inspiration. How cool is it that a kid from Connecticut can be in Avon, Ohio and have the opportunity to meet someone she has conversed with and admired online?
Social media has shrunk our world while at the same time expanding it to almost unimaginable proportions. Just like I would not dream of giving my kids the keys to a car without teaching them how to drive it, I did not hand over the key to the Internet without teaching them how to use it and just like a car, the Internet is a vehicle capable of taking this generation of children to the destination of their choice.
This moment when crafter met crafter and smiled and said hi and exchanged compliments gave me chills. It was a moment when my youngest child grew up a bit right before me eyes. It made me realize the power of the Internet and the power of having a passion. Crafting is her air. It fills her and gives her life. It sustains her. It fuels not only her mind but also her soul.
It almost does not make sense to ask Lilah what she wants to be when she grows up because she already is. She is a business owner. She is an experienced crafter. She is an Instagrammer. She is a visionary. She is a girl with a plan, a plan that does not begin when she is 18, 19, 20 or 21, but now. Right this minute.