If you have kids you probably already know the big things that you’re supposed to teach them in order to help them learn how to use social media responsibly. This isn’t one of those lists. I tried to teach my kids all of those things and they still end up acting irresponsibly on social media. Because they’re kids, and they’re going to make mistakes. These are the things that you should teach your kids about how to really use social media so that they are in control of it instead of letting social media control them. Here are the things that I taught my kids that made them realize how to use social media responsibly:
Think Twice, Then Post
Kids are impulsive and sometimes they’re going to post things that are rude, inappropriate, mean, or just stupid. Even adults do that online, which is why there are so many trolls on social media. But I taught my kids to write their post, then read it over, then read it over again, and if it sounds mean, rude, or inappropriate to delete it and try again. That’s a good rule of thumb for anyone that is going to spend time on social media.
Turn Your Location Settings Off
Even when your kids don’t actively post their location on their social media posts if their location settings on their phone are on the posts will be tagged with a location. Tell your kids to turn their location settings off or turn the location settings off for them. Not every stranger on the Internet should know where your kids are posting from. Also what they might be looking up, like things they’re interested in.
Know How Privacy Settings Work And Use Them
Of course parents should be managing their kids social media settings and making sure the privacy settings are set up to restrict access to the accounts. But kids need to know how those setting work too and they should know how to lockdown their own accounts. As you check the privacy settings on your child’s accounts show your child what you’re doing and how they can set their own privacy settings.
If You Wouldn’t Show That Selfie To Your Mom Don’t Post It Online
This is another rule that is good for both children and adults. It’s one thing to tell kids not to post inappropriate photos, it’s another for them to actually understand what you mean. Telling your child that they shouldn’t post any photos they’d be uncomfortable showing their parents.
You Don’t Know Who Is On The Other End Of That Handle
Kids can start to feel a real connection to strangers on social media that they talk to. It’s important for kids to remember that the person on the other end of that message could be anyone. Kids should always hold back a little and not give out their personal information on social media no matter how comfortable they feel with the other person they are messaging.