Kids and social media: how to manage your child’s social life responsibly
Social media has taken over the world and kids of all ages are beginning to use these various platforms at an alarming rate. Social media posing a very interesting challenge in terms of social acceptance and parental responsibility when it comes to parents. The minimum age to sign up for a social media profile is less than 18 on most major platforms which can lead to a variety of challenges for parents.
Social media is a relatively new phenomenon to society, parents who are of a certain age never had to deal with the constant pressure of presenting an image of oneself for others to validate 24 hours a day 7 days a week. Many parents agree that it is unhealthy to completely restrict their kids from accessing social media because most middle school teenagers and high school kids use these various platforms on a regular basis.
The moral dilemma of deciding what is and what is not appropriate for kids to access is still an ongoing debate. While the majority of kids access social media to simply interact with friends and share fun moments of their life, there is also a very dark side to social media that is not suitable for kids of a particular age furthermore for some adults.
Many social media platforms have parental settings which allow parents to restrict access to certain content for their kids. These settings, however, are not always reliable as many kids possess the knowledge necessary to disable these features and find a way to access inappropriate content regardless of any parental parameters or controls that their parents set.
A great way to stay on top of what your kid is accessing on social media is regularly checking their internet capable devices when they come home from school. By implementing a mandatory social media checkup, you’ll be able to sift through all of the content that your child accesses on social media to ensure that they are only using these platforms for appropriate reasons.
Another way to monitor your kid’s social media access is by forcing them to give you access to their profile. By becoming friends with your child on social media, you’ll be able to consistently monitor the type of content that they post in order to make sure they are following the rules you have set in place.
Setting times where they can and cannot access the internet is also a very effective method to ensure that your child is using social media in a way that you find suitable. Talk to your children about the potential dangers and harm of exposing too much information on social media so that they can avoid interacting with predatory people and institutions while browsing the web.
Most internet providers also allow you to request an internet history report of your child’s social media activity. This is also another great way for you to ensure that your child is only accessing content which is appropriate for their age group and demographic.