Teens & Social Media: What You Should Know
Is it possible that your teen is in social media danger? Facebook, Instagram and Snap Chat are all popular social media sites with millions of members across the world. Hundreds of other social media sites are also out there for your teen to join. The majority of those members come to the sites to share photographs, communicate with family members, friends and business associates and to have fun learning and interacting with their favorite brands. But there are also members who have obtained accounts simply to fulfill their ill-intentions; those members who have a goal of teasing, taunting or otherwise harming your teen.
Approximately 52% of teens 13 – 18 have an Instagram account while a whopping 94% have a Facebook account. These numbers put your child in the middle of the mix of potentially devastating trolls (the name given to those who bully other people on the Internet or comment just to cause drama,) illegal behaviors and even criminals out there preying on the young and innocent.
Does this indicate that your teen should immediately close their account and have no access to social media? In some cases, yes, but for the most part, your teen should be allowed to use social media within reason and within your boundaries. Obviously you should use your own discretion when making this decision. Only you know your teen and their level of maturity to be on these kind of sites.
Remember that it is okay for you to keep a close watch on the activities that your teen is engaging in on with these sites. They deserve privacy and respect for their personal effects, but they also deserve a parent who protects them and keeps them safe. Restrict their access to only computers in the living room or common areas so a quick glance will reveal their activities.
Keep the lines of communication open with your teen. Sometimes they don’t want to talk, but there are just as many times when nothing can come close to the love and support felt by a conversation with mom and dad.
Check your teen’s social media sites account settings as well. Each site offers the ability to keep posted content private so that only ‘friends’ can access the photos and posts. Also ensure that your teen is aware of the dangers of accepting friend requests from anyone they don’t personally know.
Your teen can enjoy social media safely! Use these tips to help keep them in good hands.