Social media is now an inevitable part of our daily life. According to a survey, out of 7.82 billion world population, 50.64% of the people use social media. But if we focus on the number of kids using social media, almost 97% of teenagers between the 13-17 age group have their accounts on at least one networking site. So, it is quite essential to ensure social media safety for kids.
The pandemic has changed a lot of things. But what has changed more is that the habit of going out and playing outdoors. Over that, the ever-evolving technology has now brought many alluring gadgets, apps, softwares to keep children busy. It has also created a generation gap, making it harder to cope up.
Social media helps us keep connected. But your kid may use it otherwise, unknowingly, and end up hurting himself. As grownups, it is our duty to ensure their safety. So, here we have a list of social media safety tips for parents. If you are reading ahead, know that you will only leave with a solution. So, let’s get started.
Why is Social Media Safety Important for Kids?
We love our children, and we do trust them. But do we leave them alone in some unknown place? No, we don’t, because they may get lost and never come back. So, if you think about why you should worry about your kid’s safety on social media, let us tell you why.
Social media is a whole new world with no barrier at all. Yes, you can talk to someone living far east or west from you. So, we say that the internet has made the world a global village. However, this village is far more interesting. 67% of parents think that their children are addicted to social media.
Social media opens up many possibilities. As adults, we may differ between good and bad, but we can’t expect the same from our kids. They are more vulnerable. The platforms they are using, or the people they are talking to, may have bad intentions. Or, your kid may get bullied that can seriously affect his/her mental health.
Plus, excessive addiction can seriously damage their concentration levels. It thus affects their overall study. But the most risks come from hackers who can hack your kid’s personal data and use it for disturbing purposes. These all increase various risks, from anxiety, depression to more significant threats.
So, what should you do? Should you just stop your kid from being exposed to the world? No, that would mean more damage to him/her. Social media can have limitless opportunities as well. It depends on how we use it. So, your responsibility should be ensuring social media safety for teens rather than stopping them from using it.
Here are the tips that you can follow to ensure social media safety for kids.
Social Media Safety Tips for Kids
1. Maintain Privacy
It is okay to share your activities on social media. But, don’t show off. Maintaining your privacy is important. If you share something on social media, prefer sharing it with only your friends (or people you trust). You will find settings regarding this. Try to be as subtle as possible.
2. Know What You Share Something
Just because you are not sharing things with other people does not mean that your posts are safe. For example, if you share something with a friend, he/she keeps it saved. Later, if he/she posts it somewhere, it may cause various problems for you. So, before sharing anything on social media, ask yourself whether you are comfortable or not.
3. Don’t Add Anyone as A Friend
Having hundreds and thousands of friends and followers may seem cool at the beginning. But it can call many disturbances as well. So, don’t add strangers to your friend list until you know them in real life. It is better to enjoy the company of your friends and families while gradually making healthy relationships.
4. Avoid Creating Future Embarrassments
You may question that how can something cause disturbances in your future? Well, most of the time, things that you post on social media may stay there forever. It may create embarrassments in the future while applying for a job or leading your life. So, if you are posting something now, you better have your intentions clear.
5. Don’t Hide Things from Your Parents
It is okay to make mistakes, but it is not okay to hide and fight them alone. You have your friends and family to support you. So, if you think you are facing something online, don’t delay informing your parents. Social media can have both good and bad surprises. The faster you act, the better you stand.
6. Don’t Engage in Bullies
Don’t engage yourself in bullies. Instead, if you see someone getting bullied on social media, report the accounts forcing them. Be nice to others and don’t hurt anyone on social media. It is necessary that you now understand your responsibilities as a human. Because, on social media, everyone is watching you.
Social Media Safety Tips for Parents
1. Educate Yourself
First of all, know the various social media apps for teens. These may include Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram, Snapchat, Tiktok, etc. You can easily open an account on these apps or sites and have the first-hand experience. Thus, you will know how kids use these apps to meet new people.
2. Don’t Interfere in Their Privacy, But Keep an Eye on Them
It will allow your to keep a close eye on their activities. Plus, as a supportive person, they will also respect your opinion on certain things. So, instead of just saying, “you won’t do it,” you may just say, “things will become complicated if you do it.” Always remember, a guide does not order but watches your back.
3. Help Them Make Their Social Media Account
Weak passwords are easy to break, and hackers can easily get into their accounts. Plus, your child may even post some bad pictures that may invite bully or create confusion. So, help them make their first social media account. It will also help you keep their account privacy updated.
4. Don’t Allow Them to Accept Unknown People
Would you ever leave your child with an unknown person? We ask our kids not to talk to anyone they don’t know. And we won’t ever leave them with anyone we don’t know. But social media platforms are open platforms with millions of people from all over the world. And there is no barrier in between.
It invites harm and several other damages as well. So, teach your kids to accept only those he/she or you know. If you see them talking to someone suspicious, wait and run a background check. If the result satisfies you, then only allow them to move further.
5. Add At Least One Contact Details of Yours
We strictly recommend against adding any personal details, such as phone numbers on social media platforms. However, if you do, give one recovery or alternative number/email of yours. It will help you keep control over their account. Plus, if they get into trouble, authority can easily track you down.
6. Talk to Them
Social media may connect us, but it can also take us far away from the people sitting beside us right now. So, we must cherish those who are near as well as those who are far. As adults, we may understand how to keep this balance. But, we really can’t expect the same for our children.
Whether you are a kid or a parent, you should understand that social media is a new world. It doesn’t have any border or restrictions. If you don’t know how to survive, you will get lost in it.
These tips on social media safety for kids and parents will help you understand your responsibilities and act accordingly. And, before we end, we would like to hear your opinion on this post. So, do comment!