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Tilly and Teen Missions Malawi #ShareAwesome

teen missions malawiSocial media. What to share, who to share it with, when to share and how. All of these things are questions I ask myself on a regular basis. Obviously, in our family we use social media frequently. I run a business, Little Earthling Photography, that is dependent on social media. We have a YouTube channel (several, actually) to post videos. I am on Facebook. And Twitter. And Instagram. When I started my blog back in 2006 it was for family and friends. I had no idea I would one day be sharing my family with the world.

well-drilling in malawi

Chuck and I have strict rules about internet use and social media (though they have loosened a bit as we navigate the waters of parenting teens). Our teens have cell phones but not smart phones. They use Facebook, but the only computer hooked up to the internet is in our main living area. We don’t hover over them as the use the computer, but it  is centrally located and nearly impossible to be alone while using the computer. Judah and Tilly both use the computers at school regularly. My kids are very comfortable with social media and the internet. And because of that, we talk about about it’s positive and negative effects.

teen missions malawi

Social media has allowed our teens to connect with team members before heading off on their adventures to Honduras, Zambia, Guatemala and Malawi and to keep in touch with them after (though, truth be told, Adalia never Skypes or emails BEN! these days). Chuck and I are friends with many of their friends and have connected not only with their team members from Teen Missions, but many of those teens’ parents as well.

teen missions malawi

Social media has allowed us to share our teens’ mission trips with people across the globe. To have readers from every continent (except for Antarctica) “attend” BEN! and Adalia’s wedding. Later this month a blog-reader-turned-friend is coming all the way from Australia to visit our family.

But there are downsides, as well.

teen missions malawi

We have all read about cyber bullying and the dangers of the internet. They are out there and they are real. National PTA and LifeLock have joined together to promote positive and safe online interactions with their #ShareAwesome campaign. To me, being involved with your kids and their internet usage is paramount. Know you teens, know their friends. Be open about sharing on social media. Talk about how much is too much to share. Talk about why some things shouldn’t be shared online. Talk about the real life consequences of cyber bullying and sharing the wrong information.

While my kids don’t have their own smart phones and Instagram accounts, Tilly is well-known for snagging my phone and posting her own selfies on my Instagram account.

teen missions malawi

And if you haven’t watched Tilly’s video from her awesome summer in Malawi here it is:


Snap a photo of an awesome moment in your day and share it on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram with the #ShareAwesome hashtag!

Students who enter the #ShareAwesome contest between September 15 – November 30, 2014 will have a chance to win fantastic prizes, including tablets and a $2,500 scholarship!

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.


  1. Jennifer | The Deliberate Mom

    I’m nervous about this aspect of my parenting journey. My girls are 6 and 3 – fortunately we have a few years to hopefully figure out our strategy with navigating the waters of social media. It’s posts like these that will help us build a solid plan… I’m thankful for the pioneers who have forged through this ahead of us.

    Thanks for sharing about #ShareAwesome.

    Wishing you a lovely day.

    • bakersdozenandapolloxiv

      You’re welcome. It *is* hard and our own rules changes as we grow, and learn…Like I said, I think being aware is the most important part.

  2. Kristal

    I missed Tilly’s video when you posted it! Great to hear about her trip {and Caleb was in the picture you used of the block laying!}. Can’t believe I have two teens going next year! Let the fundraising begin!

    • bakersdozenandapolloxiv

      Thank you! I keep watching the video because I find it inspiring. I am so happy she was able to capture the summer with her camera.

  3. Angie

    I debated weather to share this but since your topic is Internet safety, and you may already know. I came across a blog two days ago that was talking about your family. It was very negative and jut plain not nice. It was very creepy because others were commenting about things that had happened in your family and how they felt about it, like your daughters “marriage to get away”. I was shocked to see this, especially since my intention was to go to your blog page her. I clicked off of it in disgust but wish I would have noted the site for you. I’m sorry, but I thought you might want to know this.

    • bakersdozenandapolloxiv

      I am well aware there are several negative groups out there who love to rip apart blog families. I also knew before we announced Adalia’s engagement (and before she was even before she was engaged) that people would view her early marriage as a way to “escape” our family. Which is funny on one hand, but sad that people feel the need to discuss it online.

      We have had bad, negative things happen in our family (we are human, after all) and one incident in particular people love to criticize us for, even though they have no idea what actually took place. I choose not to go on those sites and read their hate or defend myself.

      But thank you for sharing. It *is* a serious issue.

      • Angie

        Your welcome! I didn’t want you to not have this information because it concerned me about the negative judgements that seemed aggressive in tone. There weren’t any threats or plans of action, just wording that would make me concerned if it were my family. People are all too anxious to spew negativity, which is sad. I have thought about doing a blog but I am concerned for my kids and our family’s safety. You always hear of crazy stories of what someone did. Although we can’t live in fear of others actions. I think your fa,ily is wonderful :). I hope you will do an update on your oldest daughter, not to defend her or you but because they are such a dog gone cute couple and I wonder what they are up to and how they are. I sure other blog readers would like to know too 🙂

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