There have been some helpful and thoughtful pieces recently published on the topic of kids and social media. They are offer some insight and information about the teens and tweens and their lives online and I wanted to share them with you.
* 9 Social Media Red Flags Parents Should Know About by Christine Elgersma on Common Sense Media
This post details the most common social media red flags, anonymity, "temporary" or "disappearing" photos, and public default settings. It notes apps that feature these red flags, including Snapchat, YikYak, and Periscope, and offers tips to parents to address those issues.
"Even when new apps come along, adding new features such as the ability to disappear or track your location, they're often not that different from other apps. And if you know what to look for, you can help your kid avoid some common social media pitfalls such as drama, cyberbullying, and oversharing."
* To the Well-Intentioned but Ignorant Parents of Teenagers on Kayla Nicole's Blog
A high school teacher who "spend[s] more time with teenagers than I do with people my own age. And in many cases, I spend more time with your teenagers than even you do" tells parents what she's seen and heard in the high school halls and classrooms, and pleads with parents to be involved with their kids:
"A combination of hormones and inexperience create a veritable powder keg of unpredictable behavior. Insecurity might lead to seeking acceptance from strangers by posting a selfie and waiting for people to reblog, like, or comment on it. Boredom might lead to extended conversations online with someone they’ve never met about deeply personal matters. Loneliness can lead to online sex. No, really. It can.
. . . I am begging you to give a crap about your kids. When I was a teenager myself, social media was just gaining popularity and my mom had my Myspace and Facebook password. I never sent a message, posted a picture, or added a friend without her knowing it. It sounds extreme, but I’m safe today because of it. I can’t even count the many times I would have done something incredibly unsafe and irresponsible if not for the fact that I knew my mom was watching."
* 3 Lessons I Learned About Online Privacy When My Teen Googled Her Name" by Lorraine Ackemann on BlogHer
One mom was surprised at what images appeared when Googling her daughter's name. She says that she "learned more from this experience than any privacy workshop, and I would like to share how we are addressing and correcting the problem." The results include images and info from her sports team. It's not news that a kid's digital footprint is formed by more than just what they post, but it goes beyond parents and friends now with schools, teams and other community organizations using social media.
"Another photo that popped up was from an old team roster. This sports league required photo IDs for every player and getting the IDs printed required uploading the photo to their database.
Did their database have a delete function for players? No. Were these rosters searchable over the internet? Yes. Do I wish I would have known that in advance? Yes! Lesson learned."
* Parents, Teens and Digital Monitoring by Monica Anderson from Pew Research Center
If you're wondering how other parents handle monitoring their kids' online behavior (or you just want proof that you are, in fact, not the only parent in the world with rules and limits), this new study from Pew offers some insight.
"[D]igital technology has become so central to teens’ lives that a significant share of parents now employ a new tool to enforce family rules: “digitally grounding” misbehaving kids. Some 65% of parents have taken their teen’s cellphone or internet privileges away as a punishment.
But restrictions to screen time are not always consequences of bad behavior, parents often have rules in place about how often and when their teen can go online. Some 55% of parents say they limit the amount of time or times of day their teen can be online."
You May Also Like: Lessons I've learned as a parent of a teen with a new Instagram account
Prior Post: 6 inspiring quotes from J.K. Rowling
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Filed under: Parenting