Social media is undeniably playing a growing role in our lives today. If you’re aiming to teach your kids about technology and the various ways that they can interface with it to improve their lives or pursue a career, then you might want to think about the role it will play in their lives, too. Here, we’re going to look at some of the ways that social media might be integrated into their education, as well as some of the pitfalls that you should be keeping an eye out for as you delve into that particular digital world.
Teaching the golden rule of social media
It’s one rule that even a lot of adults seem to have a hard time grasping from time to time. Specifically, we’re talking about the rule that once something is posted online, it should be treated as if it will be online forever. You can delete whatever posts and media that you want, but before you post anything, you should make sure that you’re okay with it being online forever as you never know where it might be stored, saved, or kept as soon as it is posted. Of course, small kids might not be able to grasp this rule well enough to truly understand it so you may need more parental controls over what they can or cannot post directly for a while.
Teaching them the practical applications
If you think that your kids are, someday, going to be using social media, then you might consider it your obligation to make sure that they are using it properly. A lot of people jump into using an app without getting a good idea of how its features really work which can, at times, result in accidentally posting things they do not mean to. Teaching your kids the ins and outs of how social media platforms work, how to compose messages, how to edit, to delete, how to add multiple photos to Instagram story, and so on, can help ensure that they only post what they mean to. In making sure they use it correctly, you can also help them avoid some posting mistakes.
Securing their data online
Data security is an essential skill that anyone who is using the online world needs to be able to use. As such, you need to start teaching your kids about it as soon as possible. The first way to do this is to make sure that they are using privacy settings to secure their account, to make sure they’re not using their real name and never giving their password out. You should make sure your kids know not to friend or message anyone that they do not personally, and you should teach them about phishing scams. Some adults may be able to discern safe links online from false ones, but your kids may not be able to, so you should teach them not to click links or downloads at all.
Looking after personal security too
You can teach your children about how to better secure their data, but you should also make sure that they are protecting themselves when they use it, too. You can use technology such as social media filters, parental control apps, and activity monitors to make sure that you’re able to better shut down any untoward applications before they pop up. However, you should make sure that your child also knows to protect their personal details, to avoid sharing with people unless they are 100% certain that they know them, and to come to you when anyone that they don’t know attempts to get in touch with them, amongst other steps.
Using it in an emotionally healthy way
It may be essential to set some boundaries when you teach your kids about using social media for the first time. Setting screentime limits on these sites may be crucial as overuse can lead to addiction and other unhealthy behaviors. Make sure that they’re not taking part in toxic online culture, too. It’s easy to fall into arguments, insults, and cyberbullying online where you don’t see or feel the consequences of their actions. Aside from talking to them about the importance of being nice online, you may want to keep a close eye on the kind of messages they are posting on their feed and in DMs. Make sure they know that they need to earn privacy on these apps.
Whether or not you teach your kids about social media is going to be entirely up to you. However, if you do, it’s important to emphasize careful and responsible use of it over everything.