The contemporary world in which we live in is a far cry from what it used to be a few years back in terms of social media. Parents today need a guide when it comes to social media for their teens. Many years back only the rich and affluent could afford telephones but today, primary school kids have cell phones. The global village in which we live involves children and so it is not unusual that children have become the customers.
We no longer know MEDIA to be TV and Radio… the options have been spiced up and what is called social media is the new order for communication on the go. This new style of communication has no doubt come to stay.
Life is much more interesting as social media has bridged many a gap but be that as it may, we need to exercise caution particularly when the kids are concerned. We need to keep abreast of the kind of virtual relationships our children keep because those are the hardest to monitor. You can easily invite your kid’s friend over to the house to judge/test his/her character but it will be difficult to request a chat with your kids’ friend on facebook.
There are so many potential risks associated with social media use for tweens and teens. Even if your children will be responsible, the people they connect with might not be. That’s one of the the main problems, especially with high school kids. They have no idea of all that can go wrong or how they put themselves at risk.
If you have a plan to monitor your child’s page, keep in mind that Facebook’s new privacy settings let us select who sees what we post. So if children want to keep you from seeing something, they can exclude you, and you would never know. The same thing goes for people who post to their wall. They can select who sees it.
Personal Information online
It is best to have a rule to never share or make public any information that would identify where you live, where they go to school, their age, phone number or email address and when you are away from home (because their friends will know where you live). It would be good to avoid posting pictures, with possible exception of with friends. I would suggest not allowing other people to tag your child in photos or “check in” to places.
Additionally, your child should be made aware of the seriousness of cyber-bullying. It’s a really huge problem and we all should come up with plans to deal with it if it happens.
Nichole Brown, Corporate Communications Manager at Ogilvy & Mather advises that we should have our children’s passwords until we are comfortable with their interactions with others.
Parents how do you monitor your children’s use of the internet and social media?
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