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.

Family Media Plan and Media Time Calculator

The American Academy of Pediatrics offers tools to create a Media Plan that is specific to your family.

Below is a segment that Katie Couric had presented about teens and social media.
Here is a video that you, as a parent, can use to help your child understand what happens when not being safe with texting and social media.
Your Photo Fate (2018)

Screen time: what amount of time is recommended for my kid's age?

Click the document below to see suggested screen time amounts for kids at each age and stage.


Below is information on the different types of Apps that kids are using and videos explaining what to look for and how these apps that are popular work.

Vault Apps

A growing trend is Vault Apps. Vault Apps Allow the individual to secretly store pictures and other information while disguising it as another tool or app on a phone. Below are links on how to look for Vault Apps and what they are:
What is Instagram?
What is Snapchat?
What is Kik Messenger?


The following links can be helpful for both parents and kids about the dangers of the internet and internet safety:

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EMSISD Counseling and Campus Support

If you have questions or concerns about your student, please contact your campus counselor.