What you should teach your kids about social media

Remember back in the ’90s when we thought people would be driving spaceships in the millennium? We’re not quite there yet, but you’ve got to admit today’s generation is growing up faster than we could have ever imagined and social media is a major culprit. Though the platforms can be used for many positive things like keeping up with current news and learning about other cultures, on the flipside, it can be detrimental in the wrong hands.

According to reports, human trafficking propositions are often made through the world wide web, and cyber-bullying is causing many adolescents and teens emotional distress, even causing suicides. The yearning for an infamous celebrity lifestyle and overnight fame is also a problem among teens on social media, just look at Miss Cash Me Outside.

If you’re struggling to make sense of it all, and even more so to help your children understand the power of social media, here are a few tips to share with them.

Keep it Confidential– Express who you are without telling all of your personal business. Discussing things like family issues and relationships should be minimal, or not shared at all. People in general tend to share too much information on social media. Because teens are not as mentally mature as they think they are, remind them to talk about their problems verbally or keep a journal. Once the information is out there, you don’t get to pick and choose who has access to it.

Age Matters– Your children should post pictures that are age-appropriate. Dressing in clothes that contradict their age can send out the wrong message. Language in posts and private messages should also be age-appropriate.

Is It Accurate – If you are not sure something is true, do not post it. We must teach our kids that everything does not deserve a comment or a reaction, especially if you do not have all the information to form an opinion. Sometimes, it’s simply not even our business to mention at all.

Safety First–  Even though your child is using the electronic device from the comfort of your home, safety is still a huge risk. Teach your children to avoid checking-in on Facebook and other sites. You can also turn off phone settings that show your location when a post is made. Moreover, many teens are using the internet to spark relationships. Monitor who your child talks to online.

Post Positive Things – There’s enough negativity going on in the world. Another fight video doesn’t need to be shared. Teach your kids to pat themselves on the back and don’t be afraid to celebrate their wins. It will inspire others to walk in their own greatness.

Be Yourself– We have forgotten that individuality is special. Twerk videos and posing with guns don’t have to be the norm. Encourage your kids to post what they enjoy, not what the masses deem as cool.

Your kids may be pissed that you’re paying extra attention to their social media activity, but keep in mind that your job is to keep them safe at all costs. Eventually, they will see you were right.