Social Media is now the greatest medium of communication in the world, and young adults dominate the social marketplace. Social apps have established a strong foundation in the lives of the younger generations, and we have to understand the magnitude of the influence social apps have on their lives.
The permanence of the internet, the exposure of personal information and ease of accessibility to any user should alarm parents to potential and very real dangers the internet pose. Using the Internet should be taken almost as seriously as a driver's exam.
The internet and more specifically, social media, is the most powerful vehicle for expressing ideas that the world has ever seen, but some ideas are not ready for younger eyes engaging social media.
As parents try to ensure that they can limit the negative influences their kids may encounter to a minimum, app developers have created platforms to facilitate parents checking in and monitoring social media usage. Utilizing the newest apps, staying involved, and setting guidelines are the right steps towards keeping your child safe on social media.
Right of Passage
The “required age” for a Facebook user is 13 years old in their user agreement guidelines, but users can lie about age to gain access. However, it is the job of the parents to decide when they deem their child emotionally mature enough to begin using social media.
After establishing that your child is ready for social media, you, as a parent, have the responsibility of educating your child on the proper ways of conducting oneself online. Making a profile on anything from Facebook and Instagram to Snapchat and Twitter should carry the responsibility of acting no different than they would act in public.
While they should learn how to carry themselves with the same integrity they should in the real world, they should be aware of the very real dangers of the internet. Just as when we were five years old and heard the famous “don’t talk to strangers,” your kids need to understand that they should never interact with someone that they have never met.
If you hope to protect your children on the internet, then you must take preventative measures and educate them so that they will be prepared for situations that they will inevitably while using social media.
While we all hope children listen to everything that their parents say and follow it, we cannot always expect them to follow the rules. Teaching online etiquette only goes so far, and developers have designed products to assist parents in monitoring their children online.
Supervising what your children do on social apps may be met with accusations of infringing on privacy from older children, but they have to earn your trust while being on these social media apps. Various Instagram analytics apps such as Owlmetrics would be sufficient for overseeing your kid’s activity on Instagram, but there are multiple parent helper apps hitting the market.
One of the biggest issue when dealing with children on social media is limiting their exposure to it because the modern social scene demands so much time and attention. The older children get, the more they need their focus on things of importance, but social media can pose such a major distraction.
Apps like Dinnertime allow parents to shut off social media or set time restraints on how often they can be on social apps. Apps such as DInnertime enable parents to prevent over usage of social media and preventing dependence on technology.
Apps more catered to young adults and driving age teens are apps like MamaBear that can track whenever the kid is on social media while they are driving. Social media apps such as Snapchat are massive risks for young drivers, especially since teen accident rates are much larger than average drivers.
While we need to monitor usage rates, monitoring what children do on social apps is a serious concern for parents that wish to keep their children from getting involved with unsavory individuals. mSpy is the one of the largest apps for parental surveillance, and it is one of the most trusted apps for analyzing your child’s activity.
Children rarely open up about their private lives when they get older, but they will look to their parents for guidance on occasion. The best way to help them with social situations is to understand the platforms they are interacting on.
Often times, children avoid asking for advice because they know that their parents have little to no understanding about what they deal with. The best way to remain a viable option for advice is to familiarize yourself with the tech and keep an open mind whenever approached.