Woman sitting in a thinking pose with oversized goofy glasses reading an upside down book

Growing up, I always thought those who created content that was shared in the media were all professionals with extensive training who worked hard to have the privilege of sharing their content with the world. (Anyone else remember obsessing over the National Geographic magazines of the 1990s?)

However, in a world where the majority of people over the age of thirteen have a smart phone and use social media, media creation is at an all-time high. And as it turns out, no professional or extensive training is required.

Unfortunately, media literacy is not quite as prevalent.

According to The National Association for Media Literacy Education, “In a mediated world, all people are consumers and creators who deserve guidance on how to cultivate mindful, empowering relationships with media. 

What does this mean to me?

I’ve been fortunate enough to be trained in how to dissect and become media literate through formal education methods. Not everyone gets a step-by-step guide on how to create every type of social media account and how to properly create and post engaging content on them (thank you, MCO335).

My social media use is fairly limited, but I am constantly creating content for the organizations I work for (see my About page). Each organization has specific guidelines to ensure there is no confusion in the messaging, no matter the audience’s media literacy.

The biggest concern regarding media literacy in my life is actually with regard to my child’s media literacy. “Over the last decade, there has been a drastic increase in the amount of time children and youth are engaging with media, particularly digital media,” says Media Literacy Now, Inc.

Welcome to one of many ongoing challenges in my life!

As a parent, fostering a child’s creativity and desire to share content while also learning to navigate a child’s media literacy can be incredibly stressful. How are you supposed to know where to start?

I’m no expert, but this is what I am trying:

  • Constant open communication regarding the content my child consumes
  • Parental controls to minimize content too mature for them
  • Regularly asking what they understand from what they saw or read
  • Educating on what content is appropriate to create and share (Anyone else have children that want their own YouTube and TikTok accounts?)

The goal is to teach them to analyze and understand media while also consciously creating media. In essence, teaching them to be media literate in a creator’s world.

How are you integrating media literacy into content you or your child create? I’d love to hear your tips and tricks!

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