Social Media Guide for Parents
Keeping adolescents safe
Most teens use some type of social networking site. There are many good things about social media, but there are also risks. Parents can help to keep their teens safe by being aware of the activities teens are involved in on social media. The purpose of this web page is to educate parents about social media and provide tips on how to monitor their teens online behaviors.
Social Media and Teens
As parents, it can be difficult to understand all the ways social media can positively and negatively affect teens. Below is information that will help parents to understand how teens are impacted by social media and what parents can do to help keep teens safe.
Benefits of Social Media for Teens
* Keep in touch with family and friends
* Meet others who have similar interests (locally and globally)
* Improve creativity by sharing ideas
* Get involved in charity and volunteer activities
* Complete research projects
* Reduce feelings of isolation
* Strengthen friendships
* Communicate with teachers
* Provide positive emotional support
* Play interactive games with friends
* Share photos with friends and family
To learn more about the benefits of social media, click on the links below:
Possible Risks of Social Media
* Posting too much private information that can be used by others to cause harm
* Becoming addicted to social media
* Not getting enough sleep
* Poor school performance
* Becoming a victim of or participating in cyber bullying
* Depression, anxiety and other mental health problems
* Lack of personal interaction with family and friends
* Receiving inappropriate pictures and advertisements
For more information about the risks of social media use for teens, please click on the links below:
Tips & Tools For Parents
There are many ways parents can be aware and become involved in what their teens are doing online:
1. Educate yourself about social media websites that teens are using and learn how to use them.
*Consider setting up your own account. There are pros and cons of each social media site, so you can decide which ones are appropriate for your teen.
Although there are numerous, the most common social media sites are:
Click the link below to learn more about these sites and how they are used by teens:
2. Establish rules about appropriate behaviors and content when using social media
Explain to teens that the purpose of having social media rules is to reduce the risk of harmful effects. Listen to their concerns and be clear that your intention is to protect them:
* Set clear expectations about online behavior (no cyber bullying, posting naked or other inappropriate pictures, hateful speech or comments, sexting)
* Identify which apps may and may not be used by your teen
* Establish time limits that teens can spend on their devices
* Do not share personal information online
* Use privacy settings to protect personal information. These can be adjusted as needed.
Click the links below to learn more information about setting rules to manage your teens online behaviors:
3. Be a good role model
* Be mindful of how much time you spend on electronic devices
* Display good manners online
* Do not text and drive
* Play a video game or other online activity with your child to encourage interactive play and communication. Avoid frequent "alone time" when you are online
* Maintain technology-free zones/occasions (meal times, bedrooms, visitors, family gatherings, etc).
Click the links below to learn more information about how parents can be good technology role models:
4. Consider Using Digital Monitoring Apps
There are several Apps that parents can use to monitor what their teens are doing online and to help parents set restrictions and block inappropriate content. Social media profiles, messaging and calls placed are some of the content that can be monitored using software Apps.
Click on the link below to obtain more information on social media monitoring Apps: