We can’t take for granted that our children will use social media responsibly. I am sure many children and teenagers think they can just say what they like and because they aren’t in the same room as the person they are speaking to, that it is okay. How wrong they are.
Ensuring that our children start on the right foot digitally can prevent them from making serious social media mistakes that could cost them their friends. In the future, it could even cost them a place in further education or at a job that they want. What they write can be seen years later and may not leave a positive impression of them.
Kids need to be really careful about their social media use and need to learn how to be responsible online.
Guidelines for Social Media Use
- We need to teach children how and when they should respond to others posts, or post themselves. If they don’t have anything nice to say, it’s best to say nothing at all. After all, if another person misreads what they have written, it can cause upset. Or if they post something that they think is funny, but really isn’t, then it won’t go down well with others.
- It’s always a good idea for children to take their time when responding rather than jumping straight in with the first thing they think of. Hopefully, it stops them saying something offensive, silly etc. Most people think they need to be immediate and be part of a conversation right then but taking time is good in the long run.
- Get them to read over their posts before publishing. How would they interpret what they wrote? Could it be seen as offensive or rude?
- Don’t argue or swear over social media – be respectful. Ask your child, could you say that to a person face-to-face in real life without causing an argument?
- Would mum or dad approve of what they had written? Would a future employer want to give them a job?
All of these guidelines involve children thinking about what they post. If they were rude in real life it would cause problems for them – social media usage is no exception. The acronym ” THINK” sums this up:
T – is it truthful?
H – does it help?
I – does in inspire?
N – is it necessary?
K – is it kind?
This is a great acronym – encourage children and teens to use it just before they hit ‘publish’ to help them stay respectful and responsible online.