Social Media: Parents vs Teens
The holiday seasons are coming quickly, new high tech devices
are allowing teens to increase their Social Media connections
with friends. Social Media networks like; Facebook, Twitter,
Instagram, Vine, SnapChat, Youtube and others allow for the
exchange of all types of social information both positive and
SM by teens are their primary means of sharing information and
posting personal content. Parents should be prepared for the
increase in digital connections, Smartphones, tablets and even
watches open diverse challenges to managing personal information
in which some type does not need to be share.
Wireless technologies have allowed for unprecedented access
to people and data. Because of the easy access to online resources
there should always be open communication between youth/teens
with their parents. The distractions and dangers of life can quickly
bring tragedy and second guessing of parental responsibilities
and accountability for young lives when there is death or injury
from Cyberbullying and misunderstood intentions.
Parents cannot allow Social Media to be a baby sitter for their children
just as television should not be a substitute for parental engagement
and teaching social skills. Parents may find it difficult to start a
conversation about the use of technology and Social Media; start
the conversation about the inclusion of Social Media in a teen’s life,
parents should understand that their children may know more about
technology, but parent knows more about life and survival skills.
This fact alone can strengthen the conversation on safety and survival
in a world of diversity in ideologies, economic status and educational
access. Social Media is a snapshot of our society, being connected to
multiple people with diverse backgrounds.
There are growing numbers of youth and teens being lured and seduced
into prostitution, sexual torture and murdered from online meetups.
Technology is necessary, an important part life, the bond between
families cannot afford to be disrupted by electronic devices.
Communication is in a digital arena not verbal so Social Media, texting
and digital interaction is common with teens. This interaction is not
always sexual, but the sharing of social information can lead to situations
of personal invasion. Because of the intrusiveness of technology parents
need to set boundaries just as they would if their child or children were
at a playground or a swimming pool.
Parents need to monitor what is being shared online, some information
may be dangerous or lead to future problems in developing relationships
or potential child stalkers becoming friends with unguided and
unmonitored youth and teens.
As a Teacher of the Year, STEAM educator, a national/international
Blogger and presenter of Social Media Safety, with over 25 years in
public education and higher education, many teens lack the appropriate
processing skills to manage their Social Media content. What they put
online can be used as a benefit when they become adults or a hazard
during the developing teen years.
A quick comment, a moment of frustration, the thrust of jealousy and a
period of anger can cause teens to post comments that have profanity,
potential slanderous statements or even threats of physical or property
Parents cannot afford to be negligent, ignorant or complacent in their
child or children’s social media activities. “Parents need to be involved
and engaged even checking phones, tablets, laptops and desktops”
William Jackson 2012.
Stages of development for online behavior are a gradual process
requiring parental supervision and parental communication. Schools
cannot be responsible to totally teaching technology literacy. Canada,
France, Britain and Australia all have national media literacy standards
for students in their educational curriculum; the United States because
the educational system is decentralized does not have a national model.
Parents must be the guiding force of reason and education outside of
the school. Parents set the tone for Social Media morals and ethics
in Social Media conduct.
A very important reminder anything that is put online stays online and
never goes away. Even if a student tries to delete their online content
it is backed-up on a server someplace and can be accessed.
Social Media: Parents vs Teens
Parents should spend more time with their kids and teens, parental
involvement is important and contact not through the Internet or cell
phones. Communication is becoming a lost art between parents and
their children. Children and teens will post personal information online
faster than thinking that they should not. This presents potential
dangers that are broad and can influence future safety of the family.
Talking can save your child’s life or the families from Internet and the
dangers that are a real and present danger.