Social Media, Apps and Cybersafety
Where to Start
What is that app "Facechat" or "Snapbook" or "Tweets" and something with a "Gram?" There are so many apps that have been created that teenagers find, and it is hard to keep up with what our children are participating in online. All the different types of apps are social and can be fun with friends, but they also can bring online dangers including people prying for personal information, asking for pictures, and cyberbullying. One of the most difficult things for teenagers to understand is that what is on the internet stays on the internet. Colleges and employers are now looking into backgrounds on potential candidates by viewing what people have been posting online, even going back years. Another challenge is helping a child understand the dangers of giving out personal information. Kids at times may believe the person they are talking to is who they say they are without even meeting them. There are many stories of how kids have gotten into trouble or faced imminent danger by engaging online with people who say they are "13" but who are, in actuality, adults. Peer pressure is yet another challenge for kids; it can be difficult to say no when being asked to take a picture of themselves and send it to the other person who "promises" they will never share it. Once a photo is sent, there is no taking it back. When an App called Snapchat came out, kids would say it would automatically delete a picture that had been sent. The reality is that people can (and do) take a screenshot and keep it on their phone to be shared. Kids think it will be deleted and the app will let them know if someone takes a screenshot. Even though it notifies you that someone took a screenshot, the person still has the image. This is just one example of potential dangers of giving out information.
Our primary goals with developing good digital citizens are educating children of potential dangers, encouraging them to avoid being harmful to others through social media, and even suggesting they just take a break from the internet at times for their personal health and well-being. Monitoring your child's use of social media and posts is an important way you can continue to be aware of issues you want to educate them on and, most importantly, continue to keep them safe.
Below are some tips and information to begin that process.
Knowing the Basics
Knowing the basics on what certain apps do is really important. This is a way to understand some of the apps that children are using today. Common Sense Media put a list of apps and provided information on the different functions of apps.
Click on the link to find out what is what on apps!
Internet safety is an important discussion to have with your child. Here are some tips from Netsmarts.org that provide conversation starters and tips to provide for you and your child.
Click on the link to see the tips:www.netsmartz.org/InternetSafety
Research study on teens and technology
This is an informative study conducted by the Pew Research. The study was conducted in 2014-2015 on teens from ages 13-17 to show how they utilize the internet and how much time is spent online.
Check out the research study here:http://www.pewinternet.org/2015/04/09/teens-social-media-technology-2015/