Children on Social Media
My oldest son recently joined Facebook. With his new career as a blogger, he thought it would be a good idea, plus once he has made Aliyah it will give his family and friends a more up-to-date window on his day-to-day life.
He’s seventeen and I was impressed that he held out till now. Of course, I wasn’t thrilled with the idea of my kids ever being on social media, because, well, it’s a total time suck. It kills productivity. Unless, like me, you use social media to make your living. Yes, I am excusing my overuse of every platform with the need to make money. (I totally have fun with it too).
Now, we all know that once you put something out there on the internet, it’s there. For everyone to see. Forever. I sat my son down and explained privacy settings. I explained how one inappropriate picture or post or comment could ruin job chances if a potential employer were to see it. I tried to teach him my own personal social media tenets. Of course, he’s a mature teenager so much of it is common sense, but for those younger kids who are on FB – they need very specific guidelines of what is appropriate to share and what isn’t. Which is why I personally don’t think that young teens should have Facebook.
He will figure out what to share, and what not to, and we’ll both decide in time whether it was wise for him to friend me or not. We’ve both decided to try our best not to comment on each other’s statuses and not to use what has been written on FB to criticize the other in real life. We shall see how that works.
My Eight Social Media Tenets for Teens (also applicable to adults):
- Do not post anything when angry.
- Do not criticize / judge / fight with anyone publicly.
- Do not use foul language.
- Be respectful.
- Do not SPAM people. Be careful what you click on.
- Only friend people you know.
- Limit your time on FB. Set a timer. [Note to self: actually do this one. It’s a good idea]
- Understand your privacy settings and use them wisely.