In this generation teens being on social media is inevitable:
Teenagers are actively on social media almost, if not every day, consuming the content and experiencing many different types of people and lifestyles. It is important for a teen to know how to navigate social media in a safe and responsible way, and to protect and maintain their mental health.
Before teens join any social media their parents need to inform them about the dangers of the media, the potential predators and how to mitigate dangerous situations online. Parents need to balance respecting and trusting their children whilst monitoring and ensuring that they are safe.
Parents should monitor their children’s social media, what they post, the people who follow them and who they follow. Also being transparent with your teens is very important. Creating trust between you two can make it much easier for both of you, as you would not have to monitor much as they will be fully transparent with you. Also just simply explaining the dangers that they could potentially face when they are in social media, simply raising awareness. Helping them understand the apps that they shouldn’t join or how to protect themselves from predators.
A parent can only protect their child so much, it reaches a point where the teen needs to be responsible with the information they have to protect themselves.
Here are few tips for teens:
- Be wary of friend requests: It’s best to play it safe and only accept friend requests that come from people you actually know and your actual friends. It can be enticing to want to find and connect with new people, but it’s too much of a gamble to accept strangers’ requests.
- Thinking before you post is very important, you should limit the amount of information you put on your social media, your own information and your families to ensure your privacy.
- Also avoid posting about or when you go on a vacation, or posting pictures while on vacation, it’s best you wait until you are back home.
- If you do meet somebody new online, never agree to meet them off line. If somebody you met online sends or requests provocative pictures, tell an adult. You have to approach online friends (who you don’t know in the real world) as a potential predator because even if it feels like you know them, you really don’t know who they are.
There are many other things that teens need to be watchful of but these are the main safety breaches.
Most importantly teens need to limit the time they spend on social media, they need to preserve their mental health. Constantly being hit by different types of news can lead them into a sort of depressive or numb state. Teens need to understand that most things on social media are not real and need to stop putting it on a pedestal.