There is no doubt that social media play an important role in the life of many young people. Social media is a social instrument of communication, as it is described in the best way. You would agree with me that in this digital age era, social media is one of the most influential platforms ever known. With the exposure that comes with social media, it has become paramount as a parent or guardian, that you show a special interest in your kids usage of this form of media.
Nowadays, young ones are even the most active people on social media platforms with many having at least being active on one of the platforms. This shows the influential position social media has on young ones especially teenagers. their young age gives a persona of someone who wants information, or wants to be identified with a cause, or wants someone to hear his/her voice or rather wants a sense of connection and belonging to family, friends, and peers online.
Parents certainly have a role to play and have to research and learn about the different social networks their children are using in other to experience the networks firsthand. This are the 6 (Six) Parenting Tips you need to keep your children away from the ugly of social media
#1 Have a say on When and Which Social Media he/she Joins
Do you know that no one under the age of 13 is permitted to join Facebook? However, there is no real way for Facebook to truly enforce it, because anyone can lie about their year of birth. You need to make sure that your child stays away from Facebook until 13 and until you are comfortable with him or her having an account. There are measures put in place, such as reporting an underage child, but ultimately, it should be the parent who has the say on when and if that account gets created. Tell your child about Sites he/her can't join e.g sexting sites.
#2 Be aware and Understand the web
Kids have gained a mastery of technology so quickly and can easily pick up on the nuances that any new gadget has, far more easily that we can in some cases. It is every parent’s responsibility to know exactly which key features are included in the gadgets our kids are using.
You don’t need to be a super sleuth and spy on your kid’s every online move, but it is important to be aware of the kinds of sites he is frequenting and the people he is associating with. You get to know the friends he’s hanging out with at school, and his online friends shouldn’t be any different. One of the contract rules should be that you have full access to his social media friends and can take a look whenever you wish.
#3 Inform Your Kids
A pop-up ad appears and tells kids they can win a free iPad by simply clicking the link. Anyone would be tempted by this kind of offer, but kids are particularly susceptible, so it’s important to warn kids against falling for this kind of Internet trick. Many of these ruses are attempts to glean personal information. Inform kids that even if they are forwarded a fun questionnaire from a friend, it’s best to close the window and not participate. Inform your kids on some of these social media tricks by internet bad guys.
#4 Monitor their Posts
In an ideal world, your child would never post a photo of herself online, but that might not be entirely realistic. If she wants to share photos with her friends via email or a social networking site, be sure you know exactly which pictures are being posted. Make sure the content of the photo is completely innocuous and that no identifiable locales in the background are noticeable. It can help the security of your child and your own safety.
#5 Be a Role Model
If you are tweeting and updating your Facebook page at a stop light and taking every opportunity to “just check something,” you’re setting a poor precedent for social media usage that your child will surely follow. Always remember to ask yourself if you’re setting a good example and demonstrating proper technology etiquette as well. Don't always dish out all your private information on socials because your kids would likely follow your footsteps.
#6 Tutor them on Digital footprint
Many kids don’t seem to understand the permanence of the online world. Make sure to stress to your kids what a digital footprint is and the impact inappropriate messages or images could have if a future college administrator or employer were to stumble upon them. Remember these quotes, "what goes online stays online", "the internet never forgets". I was somewhere one day where a CEO said he rejected a girl’s application because of the content of her Facebook post which portrayed nude pictures although the lady had a blossoming curriculum vitae. Parents, Be wise!!!