Social media is not going anywhere. While the popular platform will likely change and what exactly kids do on there may change, it’s here to stay. And it’s the parents’ job to guide their kids toward being a good digital citizen.
There are endless stories of teens who lost everything by screwing up online. So, how can parents help kids learn to use social media responsibly? Could social media showcase your teen’s talents, instead of hold them back?
Here’s my advice to teens in the article: “Remember, you’re in charge of your content. You can use social media to uplift your life, connect with friends, create content, and entertain. Or you can get used by it when it sucks you in, and then you feel bad afterward.
It’s healthy to manage your feed and unfollow/delete accounts that are consistently false news, negative, mean, rude, or bullying. If you notice you feel anxious or irritated after spending time on a certain app or account, that’s your body’s signal that you should spend less time there. It’s not healthy.
After all, the app’s goal is to hook you and make you want to spend more time there. They do that by suggesting the next video or account to follow, through pop up notifications and sounds, through bright colors and buttons. And it’s not just you, teens, who are struggling. Adults are having a hard time too.”
What would you add?
Here’s a link to the full article:
Other advice that stands out in this article:
- Decide on the types of things you’ll post to social media about and have it become a portfolio of good things, a resume of all your accomplishments. This way when colleges or future employers look you up, they’ll see what makes you stand out positively.
- Remember there’s no such thing as “private” or “anonymous” and there’s no delete button once it’s out there. Your comment or post can easily be screenshotted or shared and could ruin your future. Treat each post and comment as if it’s going to be seen in public. Use the “grandma test”–would your grandma be proud of your post?
- Start with one platform. All social media platforms are different and ask you to interact differently. Try one to start, see how it fits your goals and either delete it or use it appropriately. You’re the boss!
- Set a timer so you don’t spend all day online then regret it.
- Let your parents follow your accounts on social media. They’ll see how fun it can be and the trust between you can grow.