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The more that our children enjoy the privileges of using the internet, the more we worry about the dangers and downfalls. Children need to understand the risks that they face online, and be aware of the implications of their online behaviour.
7 Things we need to teach our Kids about Social Media
If I had to summarise best practice on social media for kids into 7 key points, this is what I would tell them….
1. Don’t say anything on Social Media that you wouldn’t say to Someone’s Face!
It’s all too easy to hide behind a computer when you are using social media. But remember that there is a person behind every avatar. Avoid bullying, swearing and insulting others.
2. Never give away your Location or Address
Sexual predators and abusers often find children and teenagers online by striking up a friendship first. Never give away your location on social media, because you don’t know who is watching and what they might do.
3. People are not always who you think they are!
In addition to the above, people are not who you think they are. Stick to using social media to contact people that you have met in person. How would you feel if you thought that you were talking to a 15 year old boy, when in actual fact it was a 35 year old pervert?
4. You can Block people who hassle or Bully you
If anyone online is bullying or tormenting you, just click block – that’s what the button is there for. And don’t let what people say about you online effect your image of yourself or have a negative impact on your self esteem.
5. Social Media never fully replaces Person to Person
Try to put your phone away when you are socialising in person, otherwise you can be perceived as rude. Remember that the best relationships are still formed in person, and you don’t want to jeapordise those by being addicted to your smartphone.
6. Nothing is ever Really Private or Deletable
Everything that you say on social media can be traced back to you and has an impact on the way that others view you. Never post obscene pictures of yourself online or say anything you might regret.
Even if you delete a tweet or post, it may have been saved somewhere and be used against you in future. Deleted tweets even still exist in the google cache.
Basically, don’t tweet or post something unless you would be ok with it on a massive 50 ft billboard with your picture on it, right outside your parents house!
7. Social Media can affect your Sleeping Pattern
More and more teens have interrupted sleep which can have a negative impact on their studies and sleeping patterns when they are older.
Make sure that you have at least one social media free day a week, and don’t allow the smartphone into your bedroom!
What do you think are the most important lessons in social media that we should share with our kids?