TEACHING YOUR CHILD SOCIAL MEDIA SMARTS

Photo source :Pixabay
Photo source :Pixabay

We are raising a generation of children who think it is absolutely normal to carry out conversations with people in real time from the other side of a screen.

How do we remind them that face to face conversations are more important  and more nurturing in the long run?

How do we teach them that technology helps us make our life better and that in the end life ,real life in the real world matters more than screen time?

Human beings are social creatures and the need to be socially connected is an intrinsic part of  us,we want to belong to someone,to a group, a cause,something.

Social media is a good and a bad thing,where do we draw the line at  teaching  our children how to make good use of it and protect them from the dangers lurking in a highly connected world .

The Good

  • One remains connected with friends and family.
  • You get to share ideas with other people and expand your knowledge base
  • You get to meet and interact with people with whom you share similar interests.

The Ugly

  • Social media can be the cause of cyber bullying or social media shaming for perceived wrongs
  • Criminals and peodophies do hide behind social media ccounts .
  • It is easy to lie about your age when registering for a social media account.

How can we teach children how to be safe when they enrol on social media?

1.By being a good  example.

Set a good example with your gadgets and devices,do not hide behind a screen when you get home to catch up on your social networks.When your teen does the same you will have no basis with which to reprimand them.

Meal times are usually not the best times to be checking the funny videos your colleagues from work sent you.

2.Think before you hit enter

Do not post unbecoming photos of yourself or your children at anytime.

A picture of yourself sloshed at a party will be hard to explain to a teen when you extol the virtues of being sober.

3.Guidance

Guide them with their first use of social media,sites like Facebook allow one to join if they are at least 13 years  but this may be higher in some jurisdictions.

Become  an internet aficionado of sorts,keep abreast of trends and what is happening in order to be able to best advice your teenager.

The best placed person to advise your child on the good and bad of the internet is you, as a parent or guardian and not a peer.

4.Set privacy controls

If internet access at home is through a commonly used device be sure to set up privacy controls to protect your child.

A good rule of thumb is to ensure access to the internet is in a common area in the house like a study room,living room .

If you have wifi in your house then ensure it is restricted to common areas in the house until your teens are older.

5.Respect and being safe

Teach them not to follow the crowd,not be part of any bullying and especially not to friend strangers.

What other guidelines would you like to share on bringing up children in a world that is increasingly becoming more connected.

We would love to hear from you.

Xo,

Ina

BOOK REVIEW:DOT COMPLICATED

Technology gives us the power to change the world.Lets start by changing ourselves-Randi Zuckerberg

This book by Randi Zuckerberg is a gem  if you social media is one of your interest areas .

Photo source : Zulily.com
Photo source : Zulily.com

Incidentally the book i have has as its cover the exact photo i used for this blog post.

Written by Mark Zuckerberg’s sister, it is the perfect guide to socially navigating the digital age as President of Lucas Film,Kathleen Kennedy says on the book cover.

It is packed full of good and  reasonable advice for newbies on the social media scene as well as experts.

I especially liked the way Randi weaves stories of her life within and outside of Facebook  ,with advice on navigating social media as a parent ,  a career woman and  a business woman.

The book is divided into chapters covering everything from personal use of social media ,to career ,doing  good for other people as well as the the possibilities technology holds for the future..

Since i have a very keen interest in social media,my copy of the book is filled with highlighted text areas of what resonated really well with me.

Some of the moments in the book that stick out for me are when she talks of her  time at Facebook when Randi introduces to us the idea of the the hackathons they had at Facebook.Every month the people at Facebook stayed up all night working on their passion projects which they had to present to the entire company the next day after which they would have a pancake breakfast.

Now that is what i call chutzpah!

Randi also gives us an insider view of why Facebook is such a phenomenal success.

Facebook is incredibly powerful as a service precisely because people use their real names,identities and interests.From the start ,this was one of the  biggest competitive advantages over rival social networking sites.

She reminds us that the value of social media is not in the number of followers we collect but rather in the depth of relationships we build.

It is also not lost on me that she is especially proud of her Jewish heritage and talks about it when she attended the Word Economic Forum in 2010,Davos ,Switzerland .The Forum hosts a Jewish Shabat Dinner to mark the start of the Jewish sabbath and Randi was asked t sing the Yerushalayim shel Zahav( a tribute to the beauty of Jerusalem)

The book  is a reminder that the power of social media is in the  authentic  relationships we build online,those  human connections that  make life so wonderfully worth living.

Have you read the book,share with us your thoughts.

XO,

Ina