When the time comes for your teen to use them it is hard to know what to expect.
In today’s digital world, social media is very much a part of daily life. However, when the time comes for your teen to use them it is hard to know what to expect.
Social media allows kids to chat with each other online and document their lives in full view of the eyes of the world. Nowadays it is common for young people or even adults to feel close to people they have never met through viewing their social media channels.
It is also the era of influencers and bloggers/vloggers who all offer their own style of content and personality. It is quite simply a completely different world to when parents were young.
Here are a few tips on social media:
Understand social media – If your teenager is going to be on social media you are going to have to understand the basics of it too. If you aren’t using Facebook or other apps perhaps, learn how to use them so you can watch for signs of misuse in your teenager. It’s important for parents to learn about the different technologies’ children are using to help keep them safe online.
Teach your teen the basics – Firstly, your teen needs to know about privacy and how a lot of content that goes online is out there and not entirely private. Remind teenagers about their digital footprint and how photos, especially can end up all over the world and quickly! Lastly, you are going to have to have that awkward discussion about online risks and predators that are online waiting to lull kids into god knows where. And yes, this is needed and vitally important however uncomfortable the conversation is. If your teen refuses to listen then, they are not ready for social media.
Know the difference – The most popular social media platforms for young people include Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube though there are many more that gather attention. It seems simple enough, but all these different platforms do different things and have different safety and privacy tools. To set up a profile, your teen will probably need to give their name, e-mail address, birthday and a photo.
Messaging apps - Using instant messaging over the Internet to send messages is becoming increasingly popular amongst youths. In fact, most kids don’t send traditional messages. Wi-Fi is everywhere mostly and therefore, teens take advantage of it and use this as their main message tool.
Videos, photos, sharing and dangers – Most social media sites allow users to upload photos and videos and they can also share live videos. Depending on your teenager’s privacy settings (which should be private, by the way) they could end up all over the internet. Some social media sites have age restrictions, but they are easy to access regardless, and it is vital if your teen is on social media that parents follow them and take an interest in their online activities. This may not make parents popular, but it is important, and you should probably check these sites regularly for any sign of misuse. Have rules and tell your teen they are not allowed to talk to people they don’t physically know.
Keep an eye on your teenager and discuss online risks often so they don’t forget!
Emma Hayes is a thirty-something mum of two girls aged 16 and 10, planting her right into the teenage and tween-age years! Follow her on Twitter at @EmmaHayes25.