Social media parenting is often overlooked until a problem occurs. It is imperative that parents are aware of the dangers, images and information their children are exposed to. Even more important to consider is what your child is exposing to the world. Learn about the dangers, monitor your child, and communicate the importance of internet safety and limiting exposure.
Kids are very tech savvy and are immersed in social media. Children don't realize the effect social media can have on them. Social media is being used as evidence in criminal cases. Employers are using social media to check up on employees and in investigation upon hiring. Social media can be damaging to your child's emotional health and their reputation.
What Are Some of the Dangers
When children engage on social media they are letting someone into their life. Children are very trusting and don't realize the dangers they are inviting. Strangers are an obvious risk and awareness needs to be a part of social media parenting. Strangers can quickly become friends to your child. With that trust they can lure them to meet them or to do things for them.
Children can also be affected by the actions of classmates or friends they trust. Some dangers to be aware of are cyber bullying and sexting. Cyber bullying is deliberate, repeated and hostile abuse of a person through social media networks. Sexting is sending sexually explicit pictures of oneself.
Apps to be Aware of
Be aware of apps like Snapshot that promises anonymity. Be sure your child understands that anything posted is forever. Snapchat promises your message will self destruct after it is sent. Children do not realize that the photo or message can be saved with a screenshot or photo taken from another device. It can be easily shared. There is no such thing as erasing after sent or messages completely self destructing.
Poof is an app that hides the apps that are installed on a device. Your child can use this app to hide what they know should not be on their phone.
Apps with Geo-location are a concern. These apps use geo-tracking devices on users' smartphones to reveal their exact locations.
Beware of apps that are rated for adults.
Sites That Can Help You With Social Media Parenting
- Avira offers parental control tools that allow you to manage your child's social media network in real time.
- Qustodio allows you to see how your children are using the internet. You can set time limits and protect against dangerous or inappropriate content.
Social media is here to stay and ever expanding. Social media parenting is a job that requires vigilance. Social media parenting requires parents to monitor their child and consistently set boundaries and remind them of the importance of protecting their privacy.