When it comes to social media, we all know that sharing information about ourselves can be fun. Having affirmation that your Facebook photos are cool and beautiful, or that something you Tweeted was retweeted multiple times, or that your latest Tumblr post was reposted again and again can be addicting. But, hazards can be overlooked in the good-faith process of sharing personal information. Below, seven activities your kids should avoid on social media in order to keep themselves, and their reputations, safe…
- Posting inappropriate photos of yourself
- Trash-talking a teacher, a classmate, a friend, a family-member, or a coworker
- Spending more than 1 hour a day on social media
- Sharing whereabouts online
- Posting private information
- Stalking other people
- Online bullying
The selfie was the most popular image choice of 2013. But taking inappropriate selfies of yourself can lead to a negative image in the eyes of your potential employers or your school teachers–not to mention your peers. Once an image is posted, it can be found, no matter if it was deleted or if you thought the connection was private. Better to steer clear and just not post anything potentially scandalous altogether.
Sometimes people say mean things about other people that may or may not be true. Dirty talk can come back and bite you–and even destroy otherwise positive relationships.
Tactical Tip: Use the five minute rule: If you are passionate about posting or responding to someone, write out your tweet and wait five minutes before pressing “send.” After five minutes, if you still feel it’s a good idea, then post it. This is a great way to avoid saying something that might upset others in the heat of the moment.
Teens and Tweens spend exorbitant amounts of time staring at screens these days. This can keep them from getting their homework done and also sometimes lead to a negative self perception. Try to complete your homework and studying before you approach social media. This will reduce your screen time and keep you focused.
Do your best to not post that you’ll be going on vacation (or are home alone). While there are more good-hearted people than there are creepers in the world, it only takes one negative experience to really damage your life.
Likewise, do not post your credit card information, your phone number, your address, your mother’s maiden name, or your social security number. Private details like that are meant to keep your identity secure.
Obsessively commenting on every single post of another person can be annoying, and will almost always backfire against you. Keep it to a minimum.
And lastly, do not ridicule other people on social media (even if you think it’s harmless). Just because it’s not face-to-face does not make it any less hurtful, or any less cowardly. If you have an issue with someone, it is best to tell them in person. Don’t publicly humiliate or embarrass them online as an anonymous “e-warrior.”
These are our recommendations about what teens should avoid on social media.
What are your tips to keep kids safe and smart online? Let us know in the comment box below.