Children and teens these days have become digital natives. It’s hard for them to remember a time without the internet and social media. They gravitate towards electronic gadgets, ending up using them for countless hours. The use of smartphones, tablets, and other devices has become way too common.
As soon as a child grows up, he/she demands a cell phone. Parents are usually left with no choice but to succumb to their demand and hand over a cell phone to them. While it may be difficult to ask your teens to spend less time on social media, what you can do is keep a watchful eye on their online activity.
Social media monitoring for teens is important because it helps parents keep a close eye on their kid’s online activity and save them from impending online danger.
Parents are often left wondering what their children are doing online for so many hours. From swiping to taking selfies to messaging to posting, they are seen huddled over their electronic devices for long hours.
It is normal for teens to send silly photos to their friends or talk about episodes of their favorite TV shows and parents are completely okay with it. However, the stress begins when they cannot figure out what their kids are really doing on social media apps.
Teens and Social Media Trends
Dissing real-life communication, teens tend to pay more attention to their social lives on social media apps. A recent study conducted by Pew Research Centre reported that 97 percent of teens aged between 13 and 17 said that they use at least one social media platform.
In the same study, we also found out that 81 percent of teens in the same age group said that social media platforms make them aware of what’s going on in their friends’ lives. Around two-thirds of teens also said that social media platforms make them feel more connected to their friends online and they feel they are friends with people on social media who will support them through tough times.
While the above study proved how helpful social media platforms have been for teens, there’s another study that showed us a completely different side. According to another study, it was reported that 59 percent of teens based in the US have been bullied or harassed on the internet.
Since children were not safe on the internet and were surrounded by potential online dangers, the federal government created the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force which resulted in taking more than 10,000 people into custody in 2017.
An article published on Huffington Post gave us some useful tips for monitoring children’s social media usage. It advises parents to set their own house rules about the internet and social media usage and communicate with your kids about online dangers lurking on social media platforms.
Parents should also inform them about the fake competitions, bogus giveaways, and any other common online scams that lure children into participating in them. The same article provided us with an infographic published on fix.com, giving us more stats and useful information about teens and social media.
Social Media Monitoring for Teens: Tips and Tricks
As our teens are becoming increasingly addicted to social media apps and tend to hide their online activity from their parents, it is essential that parents stay involved. Social media monitoring for teens is essential in today’s digital age where the presence of several online threats has become prevalent.
Let us discuss some essential tips and tricks that can help parents in keeping their children safe on social media platforms.
Communicate with Your Teens
Parents should talk to their kids and have conversations about how to keep themselves safe on social media platforms. They should talk about how to avoid strangers online and how to stop revealing too much information about themselves on their social media profiles.
Educate Yourself About Social Media
Parents should educate themselves about social media before keeping an eye on their teen’s online activity. They can start by finding out what kind of social media apps and sites their teens are most interested in. To attain more information, they can read the app reviews and check age limits.
Take an Initiative and Go Ahead
Most parents have no idea how social media works. In fact, they do not even have an account on social media. Before you can start monitoring your teen’s social media, make sure to have your own account on the app they are using. You need to teach yourself everything about that app. It is important to know what you can and cannot do on the app to decide what your teen can do and cannot do on the same app.
Teach Your Teens About Social Media
Once you have got a hold on how to use social media, you need to teach and educate your teens about using the platform effectively. It’s important that your teens understand that by deleting a post or a picture from their social media account, the content does not get deleted permanently. Everything they post online becomes a part of their digital footprint.
By posting inappropriate content on their social media, they could tarnish their online reputation. It may not seem like a big deal for them at the time of posting such content but it could potentially harm them when they grow older and enter college or apply for a job.
Educate Teens About the Importance of Privacy
Parents should first learn about how to make social media accounts private or set privacy settings and then apply the same settings to their teen’s accounts. It is easier for some teens to get around parental monitoring of social media but they should also know about its consequences.
Teens should know the importance of maintaining privacy on social media. Several social media sites ask for full names, dates of birth, names of the school, contact numbers, and hometown.
Parents must teach their teens how much personal information should be given out as information on the internet. Teens should also remember that personal information once exposed to a hacker can also result in a data breach and make them vulnerable to identity theft.