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Tech Savvy Parenting

Posted at 3:12 PM, Jul 07, 2017

Dawn Ramsey with Jordan School District goes over the basics of social media.

What are the basics I should teach my kids about social media?
Social media enables users to instantly reach a wide audience, giving kids an opportunity to magnify their lives in a way that may be different from their in person experience.
When should I start talking to my kid about using social media responsibly?
As soon as your kids begin to go online, even as a young child, you'll want to explain that the Internet has rules that must be followed. Here are some of the key rules for online interaction to discuss with your kids.
Be a good digital citizen. If they wouldn't do something in real life, they shouldn't do it online.
Avoid strangers. Tell your kids that people aren't always who they say they are online. Explain that if someone they don't know talks to them, they shouldn't respond and should let you know.
Keep some info private. Your name, address, phone number, and how much money your parents make should stay private. But your hobbies, favorite ice cream, or pet's name all can be fun to share with friends online.

What age should my kids be before I let them use Instagram, Facebook, and other social media sights?
That is really up to you. Most social media websites and apps require that kids be 13 to sign up. This isn't to limit exposure to inappropriate content but because of the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA), which prevents companies from collecting certain information from kids under 13. Rather than create an environment that protects kids from data tracking, Facebook and other websites and apps choose to restrict access to those under 13.
If your child is expressing interest in joining a social network, discuss the pros and cons and do your own research so you fully understand the implications of joining a particular network.
If your child does end up joining a social network, regardless of their age, here are some ground rules that work for many parents:
Use privacy settings Privacy settings aren't foolproof, but they can be helpful. Take the time to learn how privacy settings work on your kids' favorite sites and apps, and teach your kids how to control the information they make public or private. Encourage them to check privacy settings regularly, since sites' policies often change.

Tell your kids to think before they post Remind them that everything can be seen by a vast, invisible audience (otherwise known as friends-of-friends-of-friends), and, once something's online, it's hard to take back.
Be a friend and follower Each family will have different rules, but, especially for younger kids, it's a good idea for parents to have access to their kids' pages, at least at first, to be sure that what's being posted is appropriate. Parents can help keep their children from doing something they'll regret later.
Be respectful of others Kids may use social media to act out because they feel anonymous and that their actions are consequence-free. Make sure they understand that the Internet is a giant community that works best when everyone respects each other.
Limit Social Media Time
Too Much Social Media Time Can Be Unhealthy

It`s summer, kids have plenty of free time and often like to spend it browsing social media. But spending too much time managing their virtual identities can have a profound, and negative, impact on teens' actual lives as they compare themselves to what they see online. Researchers in a British survey of 753 middle and high school students found that those who spent more than two hours a day on social networking sites like Facebook, Instagram or Twitter were more likely to report distress, poor mental health and even suicidal thoughts.

Interesting Stats:
71% of teens have more than one social media account
24% of teenagers are online "almost constantly," according to a survey released in April by the Pew Research Center's Internet & American Life Project
92% are online daily
Teens often feel the need to be constantly connected to their social media accounts through their devices and become emotionally invested, because, as several studies have shown, social media can be addictive.
Limiting the amount of time kids spend on social media can improve sleep, self-esteem, and overall health.