How to Handle Social Media Behavior of Teenagers
Social media has a very strong presence in our everyday lives. More than adults, kids and teenage minds love being a part of social media platforms. They are always seen posting photos, update or talking to people in these platforms. Technology has connected people from every part of the world and it is so easy to communicate with each other. Young minds love to interact with new people and make new friends. Be it Facebook, Twitter, or WhatsApp they have a very strong social media presence.
Young minds are curious and eager to know the unknown. Often out of innocence they tend to do mistakes that may have severe consequences. They must be able to differentiate between right and wrong when it comes to activities in social media sites. Spending major part of the day in social media and ignoring studies is a common problem that parents often face. It is very difficult to prevent your kids from extensive use of social media sites as they are always hooked to it.
Monitoring the time spent in these sites is very important. It is always advised to check what your teenage kid is posting, what kind of content they are viewing and whom are they talking with in those social media platforms. Even if they are using a smartphone or a laptop, the need to monitor them consistently is immense.
Time and again it has been seen that inappropriate photos or private information has gone into the hands of online predators. These fraudulent people hide behind the screens and wait for their chance to intrude in your private life. Leaking photos, private information or other personal information online is a part of their crime. The target is young generation who are easily influenced and convinced. Teenage minds are excited about communicating with people across the world.
As a parent monitoring social media online behavior of your kid is very important. Certain tips that can help you in this regard are as follows.
Educate yourself and your teenager
Unless you educate yourself about social media, it would be difficult for you to monitor your kids. Surf net, read about the social media platform, read online reviews, news and discuss with other parents to know more about it. Once you are well acquainted with the social media platforms, you would be able to know the pros and cons. Only then can you help your kid to learn more about the social media platforms so that they can use them wisely.
Set rules for your kids
You need to make your child understand that their activities may have long impact in the long run. You need to set rules about what type of content can be posted in social media websites and the kind of behavior expected from them. Social media etiquette is very important.
Setting rules like not to post abusive content, inappropriate pictures, use vulgar words or harass others can help your child to stay away from online predators. Sit with your child and discuss about the kind of behavior expected from them in these social media sites.
Use monitoring software
Child monitoring is very important especially when it comes to tracking your kid’s activities in social media profiles. There are many monitoring softwares available in the market that can log activity from all these social media profiles and keep it safe.
You can log in to the official website of the software from any secured place (desktop/laptop or even your smartphone) and see all the information as and when required. Not only social media profile details, ideal monitoring softwares can log all call, messaging activities apart from your browser history details. You can check the time spent online, the kind of words searched and with whom they are having online interaction.
Mobile Spy is one such child monitoring software that logs all these activities and you can see those from the online secured account of the monitoring software. You can sit at home and log in to the official account of the software to see the social media activities of your kids.
Use the privacy settings
Do not forget to ensure the privacy settings of the social media profiles. You can edit the privacy settings as per your requirements for your kids. Social media sites have privacy settings that can limit your kid’s access to photos, messages and personal information.
You can even adjust settings as to who can view your kid’s profile. Take your time and sit with your child to explain them about the settings you want to change. It will take time to adjust these settings but do not forget to explain why you are doing so to your kids.
Join social media sites
You can only understand the social media behavior of your kids when you are also a part of it. So join these social media sites and try adding you kid as a “friend”. This will help you to monitor the kind of content your kid is sharing and their online behavior. You can have a better understanding of what they are doing only when you are a part of it. Children often find it embarrassing to include their parents as a part of “friend list”. Handling it wisely by having is healthy discussion with them is advised.
Be very sure of the fact that your kid is mature enough to handle social media platforms easily. Choosing the right time depending on the maturity level of the child is a very important decision. Even though these platforms do not allow anybody below 13 years of age, children learn to create fake profiles. Even at 13 or 14 years old, some children are not mature enough to join Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
So a parent should understand that a child’s age does not define maturity. Mental growth and maturity comes at different age groups in different children. So be sure that your child is educated enough about the pros and cons of social media sites and are able to act wisely. Monitoring your child at every step is very essential for well being of your child.