Matthew McConaughey warned teenage son of ‘downfalls’ and ‘traps’ of social media

Matthew McConaughey was transparent and intentional when recently discussing social media with his teenage son.

The Texan, who shares son Levi with his wife Camila Alves, recently allowed Levi to join social media for his 15th birthday after a nearly two-year conversation on the topic.

“Let’s talk about what it is. Let’s talk about the upfalls. Let’s talk about the downfalls. Let’s talk about the assets. Let’s talk about the traps,” McConaughey said on “Today” of how he broached the conversation of social media with his son. 


Matthew McConaughey has a little grimace as he looks off into the distance inset a photo of him smiling in a light blue suit with his son Levi in a white shirt

Matthew McConaughey says he spoke at length with his son about the “downfalls” and “traps” of social media before allowing the 15-year-old to join. (Gary Miller/Getty Images)

“Let’s talk about what you wanna tell. What’s your story? Because what happens a lot of times with young people and social media is they wake up in the morning and the first thing on their mind is, ‘What will be a good post?’ Instead of, ‘What do I want to do today.'”

McConaughey believes today’s youth should be more concerned with what they’re doing in their own lives before addressing what to share and record. He also acknowledged Levi’s immersion into the realm of social media is a work in progress.

Camila Alves in a yellow gown with green halter straps smiles next to Matthew McConaughey in a blue suit and pants standing next to their son Levi in a white button down on the carpet in Texas

Matthew McConaughey talked extensively with his son Levi, whom he shares with wife Camila Alves, about the good and bad of social media. (Gary Miller/WireImage/Getty Images)

“I mean, we’re still taking baby steps into, you know, how much he’s immediately in touch with it. What he’s exporting,” McConaughey told “Today” hosts Savannah Guthrie and Hoda Kotb. “And we’re going through, we’re measuring, we’re discussing things. We had him look at a lot of other people that he looked up to, their post(s). We talked, ‘Why do you like those?’ And then you saw certain people that had maybe more hits, and you go, ‘But why did they?’

“Were they relevant for the right reasons?” McConaughey said he asked his son. “Were they relevant for reasons that actually spoke to being more of themselves, rather than acting like somebody else? … The discussion is ongoing.”

Matthew McConaughey in an orange jacket laughs with a brown cowboy hat on and sunglasses

Matthew McConaughey says the discussion about social media is “ongoing” with his son Levi.  (Tim Warner/Getty Images)

Social media isn’t the only discussion in the McConaughey household.

The actor said his conversations with his kids inspired him to write a children’s book, “Just Because.” He also shares daughter Vida and son Livingston with Alves.


“It was a song, it was a diddy. I was having a dream to the rhythm of a beat that led with, ‘Just Because'” he said of his book.

“I noticed that stuff I was writing about was things I was talking to my own kids about, things that I think the kid in all of us will enjoy.” 

Matthew McConaughey in a white button down shirt holds his book "Just Because" on a carpet in Austin, Texas

Matthew McConaughey says his book “Just Because” was written for children but will resonate with adults too. (Rick Kern/Getty Images)

The book is a collection of messages that, while intended for children, are useful for adults, McConaughey noted.

“I tried to package it with a rhyme and a singsong, so younger people can hear the rhythm and get along with it and go, ‘Oh, I can digest that.’ But there’s some adult themes in here. … It’s arguably a kids book for adults as well,” he explained.

“Young people today are feeling more and more pressured to be absolute about something.”

The “Failure to Launch” actor said that topic recently came up with his daughter about playing volleyball.

Matthew McConaughey with his wife Camila, their three children Levi, Vida and Livingston and his mother Kay at the Medal of Arts Awards in Texas

Matthew McConaughey shares three children with his wife Camila Alves. Pictured from left to right: Livingston, 10, Levi, 15, and Vida, 13. The family is seen here with McConaughey’s mother, Kay. (Rick Kern/WireImage/Getty Images)

“She’s like, ‘Do I need to be a pro?’ I’m like, ‘No you don’t need to be a pro. You’re 13. Just go play volleyball. You don’t have to be absolute about that.'”

The book, he said, is about children having options. 

Matthew McConaughey claps in a white t-shirt while watching the US Open in New York City

Matthew McConaughey hopes his book teaches a more valuable lesson about labels. (Gotham/GC Images/Getty Images)


“Try things out. Forgive yourself, forgive others. You could mess up today and make it right tomorrow,” McConaughey said.

“I have a line in there, ‘Just because I lie, doesn’t mean I’m a liar.’ We tend to label people. You can tell a fib today and go, ‘My bogey. I’m gonna stop that, I’m not gonna fib to you again.’ That doesn’t mean I’m a liar, that means I told the mixed truth today.”

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