Sarah Michelle Gellar's children aren't old enough to have social media yet, but she's "petrified" of the day that they are.
The actress, who shares daughter Charlotte, 10, and son Rocky, 7, with husband Freddie Prinze Jr., recently sat down with AOL for her partnership with Colgate Optic White, where she discussed her wariness of social media and how she's priming her kids for the pitfalls of posting online.
"I haven't hit that yet; I have a little bit more time to sort of observe. I've talked to the school a lot about it, and I think our situation is unique in the sense that it would reach so many more people, and I have to cross that bridge when I come to it," Gellar said of her children getting social media accounts. "In the meantime, I just discuss with them about why we're private and the lifelong imprint that [posting something online is] going go leave."
"This is permanent. It seems like it's not in the moment, but we're finding out people are losing jobs over things that they said all those years ago, and I don't think at 10 years old that you are able to make a decision that you can say, '[I'll be] comfortable with this 30 years from now,'" she went on. "This is why you can't get a tattoo until you're 18 years old, and I know this because I went when I was 16 with my mom to this tattoo store, and the tattoo parlor wouldn't do it because they said, 'We don't think 16 year old's really know what they want. In two years, come back to me if that's still the tattoo that you want.'"
Part of what makes Gellar nervous about the prospect of her kids jumping into the world of social media is the fact that she seems to be seeing that same eagerness that she exhibited at 16 in her daughter, who is only 10.
"The running joke, and I will share this story about my daughter, because it's really funny, is she wants a tattoo because Mommy has so many and Daddy has a big one," Gellar laughed. "She wants the Chinese character for 'hot dog.' She's wanted this for a while now. Could you imagine if she went and got a tattoo?"
"Thankfully she cannot make that decision, and I liken that right to social media," she added.
Gellar's apprehensiveness about social media doesn't just extend to Charlotte and Rocky, either. The "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" star explained to AOL that she was "very afraid of social media in the beginning" because of the threat it could've posed to the "separate" public and private personas that she had so carefully crafted for herself.
"By being able to have a life that's separate," Gellar said, when we asked how she's maintained such a successful 17-year marriage. "You know, I always joke that I'm Sarah Michelle Gellar today, but when I go home, I'm Sarah Prinze. They're two different people, and Sarah Prinze has a separate life, and I was very afraid of social media in the beginning, because I felt it was kind of intrusive."
"Since, I've realized it's actually the opposite," she went on. "I can show people the little bit that I'm comfortable with, because nine out of 10 people are [just] fans, but I still get to have that life that's just my own and I think that that's really important, and that's why I don't overshare so that it feels special and it still feels intimate and still feels like my own."
Learn more about Sarah Michelle Gellar's partnership with Colgate Optic White here.