Being a teenager is complicated enough without social media. Fortunately, there are things you can do to ensure your kids stay safe in the online world of Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok.
From tweens to senior citizens, the profusion of smartphones has made sharing our lives online pretty common. Whether users like to follow celebs or see pictures of their friends, there’s little of life social media doesn’t touch. But, growing up in a world where social media platforms are so prevalent can be complicated. And, that doesn’t even address the ongoing issues related to Internet security! Fortunately for your teenagers, there are things you can do to keep them healthy-minded both off and online.
Why Do People Use Social Media?
For the person who isn’t big on technology, the number of different apps can seem confusing. But different apps offer a variety of different things. While many find long-lost friends on Facebook, Twitter allows people to send quick messages to their followers and the world. In recent years, Instagram has become one of the most popular social media siteswhere users can share and view pictures. But, it doesn’t end there when it comes to online networking. Tumblr is popular for teens that want to microblog while Badoo features online dating. So, while they can be fun, there are downsides to having so much information readily available.
What Are the Bad Effects of Social Media?
Because teenagers experience so many confusing emotions, the online world can complicate what it means to grow up. When conducting a social media study, some teens shared that face-to-face communication was more difficult. Furthermore, because there was less face-to-face interaction, people were more likely to say something they wouldn’t say in person, leading to cyberbullying. Many of these things were not only hurtful but conveyed a lack of awareness of others’ emotions. Some teenagers also expressed dissatisfaction with the quality of conversations they were having since phones can make people inattentive. Worst of all, creating an online profile can lead to a skewed self-image that can be ultimately damaging.
How Do I Protect My Child From Social Media?
As a parent, you might not like many online apps if you’ve heard about Instagram influencers or Facebook security. But, it’s important to know what you’re up against so you can set some ground rules. You may even want to share your tips for talking to your kids with other parents on FamilyApp. Even better? You can use FamilyApp’s encrypted messenger to chat directly with your family about some of these issues.
Here are five tips to help your family use social media in a positive way.
- Talk About their Profile– Experimentation is okay, but make sure your child is aware of what their social media profile says about them. If their online personality is considerably different, ask them why so they can contemplate their answers.
- Know Their Purpose– If your teenager is enthusiastic about social networking, it’s good to know the why. For example, if they’re connecting with others online, you’ll want to have a sense of whom they’re talking to. This will ensure you can help to set boundaries and keep them safe from the wrong person.
- Stay Aware– It’s important that children have a measure of privacy, but make sure you’re aware of social media security risks. If you’re worried about certain sites, just say no. Or, if you want to impose limitations, ensure you have their passwords so that you can stay in the loop.
- Set Boundaries– Establish social media guidelines the whole family can follow. For example, you could ban phones from mealtime. You may also want to plan an hour every evening where you talk, walk or play games without screen distractions.
- Make It Truly Social– Use the global connectedness to help your teen engage with social causes close to their heart, so they can use their social platform to help others.
Raising Savvy Social Media Teens
For teenagers, online media can lead to a lot of added stress about what it means to fit in. Making them aware of the risks helps the entire family make better-educated choices. Do you have any social media rules you impose on your children? Whatever they are, share them in our comments! There are benefits to the online world, but it’s important to have rules so your kids can stay safe.