Why Practice Social Media Safety
Social development and pressure in middle school and high school is already a stressful time for teenagers. Social Media can augment and accelerate those challenges if not careful. Typical problems that arise from interaction with peers can also happen online. Bullying and gossip are not so private on social media making vicious comments spread faster to a broader audience. Teenagers need to be aware of the impact they can have as well as how to practice social media safety to prevent a situation where they could be bullied.
Choose Your Friends Wisely
One of the simplest ways to avoid bad situations is much like we would in face to face interactions. Simply don’t be their friend. Choosing friends that uplift and help is as important in the virtual world as it is in the real world. Being selective of friends can also help with popularity anxiety and feelings of inadequacy based on the number of friends they might have on Facebook. This is the easiest way to practice social media safety.
Probably the best thing that you can do for yourself as well is your kids is find the right amounf of time to spend participating in social media venues. Learn what your limits are and realize that it can be a time consuming endeavor.
Know the Risks
I personally believe that knowing what the risks are before hand and making decisions on how to handle them before encountering them can really help avoid some nasty pitfalls in general. Have a discussion with your family about the things that can happen on Social Media sites and the type of people that they can run into.
Be aware that social media can be a venue for predators and avoid the following activities:
- Chatting and sharing information with people you don’t know or have only known online.
- Sharing provocative images with anyone online or via text is just a bad idea. Sharing is only a button push away.
- Downloading Unknown Applications (Even if they are new and cool)
These can introduce Malware, Adware & Viruses or share your information with people and machines you may not want your information shared with.
Also be aware that Social Media sites have become an inexpensive way for others to get an idea of who you are. Potential employers, schools and even potential in-laws might dive into your social life online to find out more about you.
In short make sure that you are keeping your profiles in order and not sharing everything with the world. Some people or computers just might use it against you.