Great advice for teens about social media from a surprising source

Great advice for teens about social media from a surprising source

When a tween or teen dives into the world of social media, it can be similar to jumping off the dive into the deep end of the pool. But perhaps there's a little blue bird available to offer some wisdom and guidance.

The Twitter Help Center has a section dedicated just to teens, and it offers some very solid advice.

Some of my favorite piece of advice it includes are:

* Think before you Tweet: "Ask yourself, 'Would I say the same thing offline in front of my parents, teachers, principal, or potential employer?' If the answer is 'no,' carefully consider whether or not you should Tweet it."

* Keep a healthy life balance: "Your online activities should enhance your offline life, not replace it."

* Talk it out: "When dealing with negative or hurtful interactions, it can help to turn to siblings, parents, teachers or other people you trust for support and advice. Often, talking it out with your parents or a close friend may help you figure out how you want to handle the situation or let you express your feelings so you can move on."

Twitter offers other solid advice, as well as instructions on how to block users, how to delete a tweet, and how to file a report about an account that may violate the Twitter rules on the Teen Page here.

Maybe I shouldn't be surprised that Twitter is offering some solid advice that had me nodding me head in agreement as I read it. I don't expected social media platforms to be proponents of life balance. After all, isn't more usage better for them? The fact that they mention it to teens, though, seems significant.

It's worth sitting down and going through the terms of use with your kids. Read this together, if nothing else to ensure that your kid has read it. I know it rehashes items you've already told them, but a bit of review and an echoing chorus of common sense never hurt anyone.

A final note: this section is for Teens. It does not say tweens, because under Twitter's terms of usage, users must be 13 years old or older to have an account. This enables Twitter to comply with the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act, a federal law. That's right, parents, you can tell your kids you're just complying with the law when not allowing your underage child to have an account.

With that, and with the wise advice for of-age Twitter users, parents should take the help where they can get it.

You may also like: One question you should ask about your child's online friends and How to teach kids to THINK when communicating online and in person

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