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Carli Leavitt is a public relations specialist and avid blogger who is passionate about the safety of children in the digital age. Follow her on Twitter @CarliLeavitt
July 24, 2012Net Nanny for Android 2.0
Oct 21, 2016
To some parents, social media may seem like a completely foreign concept. Posting pictures and status updates to let your 1,500 “friends” know what you’re up to, where you’re at, and who you’re with may seem nuts, but for today’s kids, it’s part of everyday life. This up and coming generation has come of age with computers and the world wide web from the beginning and for most, their social media presence is just as important as (and greatly influences) their social scene in school.
It may seem far-fetched and unnecessary to some adults, but social media has become the new after school hang out. Who their Facebook friends are and how many people liked their new profile photo is just as important to them as it was for us to sit at a certain table in the cafeteria. For lots of kids, what is said online and the reactions to it from their peers, has a strong effect on their life offline.
While some people may think parents and social media just don’t mix, here are 5 reasons why they do:
What’s posted on the internet, stays on the internet: It doesn’t matter how locked down and private your child’s Facebook account may be, it’s still possible for every photo or status to be saved and posted elsewhere by a “friend”. By following your child on Facebook, they will be less inclined to post something questionable that can come back to haunt them. There is great protection software available that can help better secure your child’s app and online activity and even lets you monitor their social media activity, but when it comes to parenting and social media, a hands on approach is key.
Social media can be a gray area for some less tech-savvy parents, but it’s not only a great way to help keep your kids safe, it’s also a way to connect with them on their level. You don’t want your child to feel like you are policing them by being their Facebook friend, but instead that you are partaking in what they like to do. Be on alert for suspicious friends and grooming behavior or cyberbullying, but don’t forget that Facebook is also a way to get to know your child’s friends and peer group to strengthen your bond.