Kim Kardashian went on The View to discuss how being robbed in Paris changed her life, and how the traumatic event and the aftermath gave her a new perspective on the rest of her life.
Part of that was that she was fearful about her children growing up on social media.
She’s elaborated even further on her fears for North and Saint and her possible third child and why social media could be dangerous for them.
“I’m terrified. And, you know, I think that social media is one of the most important tools if you’re building a brand and you wanna get your business out there and your brand out there. And just to share your life, I think it’s really fun. But also, I didn’t grow up in a world of social media.”
It’s interesting, but not surprising, that Kim thinks of social media as first and foremost a tool for business and branding.
It’s a huge part of how she’s become so famous.
Possibly as much as Keeping Up With The Kardashians itself.
We don’t just mean the photos and tweets that she shares, though of course that works in her favor tremendously.
But social media has given “word of mouth” advertising far greater reach.
Not to mention whole new dimensions.
So it’s not just people tweeting about Kim or her show or her products or her family, though that’s a huge contributor.
Just think of how people talk on social media — using a lot of shorthand, gifs, and memes.
When still images and gifs of you and your family are circulated by millions of people, it helps your brand.
And those people don’t have to buy Kim’s contouring kits (today’s the day for those) or watch her show or even follow her on social media.
Just using her tear-streaked face to respond to something on Tumblr is another drop in the fame bucket for Kim.
And those drops add up.
But Kim has her concerns when it comes to her children.
She tries to talk about it as if it’s a universal concern for parents, but — concerned parents or not — most kids don’t have real problems with social media.
At least, not the kinds of problems that they don’t have in real life.
You can’t sign up for social media of any variety until you’re 13. After that point, the popular kid in real life is gonna be popular among those same people on Instagram.
Same for Twitter and Tumblr and maybe even Facebook if kids still use that now that everybody’s parents are on it so it’s no longer usable.
Sometimes, kids who don’t have a lot of friends can make new ones or at least impress their peers with their blogging choices or artistic skills or whatever. I’ve seen that happen too many times to count.
The only things that really change with social media are audience size and access.
And that’s where being a young celebrity can be a burden instead of a blessing.
If you think that people who tweet vile things at Kim Kardashian day in and day out will spare North in 9 years when she’s old enough for Twitter, think again.
So Kim, who considers herself “thick-skinned,” is horrified that North, and later Saint, could be bullied on social media.
13-year-olds don’t have the coping skills of adults, even adults who are reality stars known for crying dramatically.
So Kim did what most parents can’t do and met with an expert who lives across the country from her.
“I actually met with a psychologist here in New York at the Child Mind Institute … just to get tips and tricks that we can do at home and what’s really important.”
That doesn’t sound like a solution.
Letting North have a private Twitter account when she comes of age so that only a select group of friends can interact with her sounds like a solution.
But we guess that Kim is speaking to all parents, here.
“And I think it’s about boundaries. … Like, at home, I don’t have my phone. Dinner time, breakfast time, there’s no phones. … Kids should not be falling asleep with their cell phones.”
Maybe I’m the out-of-touch one here, but I haven’t had time to regularly eat breakfast since I was 9.
But North and Saint are little kids and aren’t at the racing-out-the-door-to-get-to-school stage of their childhoods yet.
They’re rich, so maybe they never will.
As for the “kids should not be falling asleep with their cell phones” line … it sounds true but it’s ambiguous.
Like, kids shouldn’t be staring at it until they pass out.
The bright light actually hinders sleep.
But, like, my cell phone is my alarm (all five alarms, actually).
Kids might not need to check for emergency calls like adults do, but most kids can manage to have their phones beside their beds at night like normal people.
But hopefully Kim will mellow out enough over the next nine years that North and later West can enjoy social media.
Better yet, maybe social media platforms like Twitter will have better protections for minors who use their services by then.
As for building North’s brand, like … her parents could run a public account on her behalf and shield her from the bad stuff.
Anyway, boundaries are good, but strict rules where family time means no cell phones sounds like it could backfire.
Like, where kids dread being around their parents because they can’t see if their friend wrote them back.
Children absolutely need boundaries, but if you find yourself turning into their warden, you’ve become their enemy.
That’s not a recipe for happiness for anybody involved.