Social media is the way of our world today.
We remember that chatting to friends meant we had to go to their doors, we went out on bikes or walked and talked for as long as we were allowed. Today our young people can have all of this interaction without ever leaving the house!
Now when we think of that, its a miracle really. Oh how I would have loved to have known my friend wasn’t in before I trudged over in the rain only to find they had gone out for the whole day.
Social media has offered the world to our children without ever leaving their home, which can be wonderful but also frightening all at once.
Social media nowadays is a huge cause of stress for us as parents and a huge stress for our young people too.
It can be addictive, and this is worrying during the adolescent stage of development when our self-concept, values and identity is so greatly impacted and shaped by external sources such as friends, media and society in general.
Its hard to discover who we are as individuals at the best of times, but especially when everything is so deeply affective in the teen years. We all remember that feeling of being a teenager and trying desperately to fit in, not be seen or to be liked, right?
So it is safe to say the jury is out for us parents and carers on whether social media is a good thing or a bad thing, but one thing is for sure: it is here to stay and a part of our world and theirs now.
What does that feel like when you think of it?
Does it give you anxiety? Or does it just present feelings of acceptance for you?
If its the latter, do you have your own strategies on social media that support us and our young people to be safe online?
If it does cause anxieties, is it because we are not comfortable with our knowledge on the safe use of social media? Are we afraid, only because we do not know it?
Below is an article on “How to help our young people be good people online”
There is an element of safety within that also but have a read of the article and let us know your thoughts.
How You Can Help Kids Be Good People Online (berkeley.edu)
What I love about Social media and the internet is that it gives our children and young people the chance to be curious about the world, but also find out all the answers. Even to the stuff we dont know, so they become our teachers. I find that part wonderful. I watch my children flourish and challenge the world view, looking for new and innovative ways to be within it.
So how do we stay safe while embracing this new world of instant communication?
What are your thoughts on the World Wide Web and social media? is it all bad or can you see some really amazing things too?
Having these conversations with our young people
Below are some general tips you can use when teaching your kids about online safety:
- Learn everything you can about the Internet. Being familiar with the Internet will not only help you understand the risks, but it will also help you talk to your kids.
- Set standards for what your kids can and cannot do online. It’s important to make rules for your kids so they know what’s expected of them. Don’t wait until something bad happens to start creating guidelines.
- Teach your kids to keep personal information private. It’s usually a bad idea to post personal information online such as phone numbers, addresses, and credit cards. If criminals gain access to this information, they can use it to harm you or your family.
- Teach your kids to use social networking sites safely. Sites like Facebook allow kids—and adults—to share photos and videos of themselves, as well as have conversations with friends and strangers. If your kids share something with friends, it’s still possible for it to get into the wrong hands. Generally, they should only post something online if they’re comfortable with everyone in the world seeing it.
- Encourage your kids to come to you if they encounter a problem. If your child gets into trouble online, you’ll want him or her to come to you instead of hiding it. Keep in mind that your kids could accidentally encounter a bad site, even if they’re doing everything right.
- Talk to your kids about Internet use. Talk to your kids regularly about how they use the Internet. If they’re in the habit of talking to you about the Internet, they’ll be more willing to come to you if there’s a problem.