7 ways to help your teen avoid bad habits on social media.
You had to have seen this one coming: kids are picking up bad habits from their extensive use of social media. This can’t come as too big of a surprise though, because it stands to reason that something so popular and fun would be bound to have some ill effects.
Not that we’re condemning social media, mind you, but there are a few potential pitfalls to watch out for regarding your child’s usage.
The following are seven bad habits that teens pick up from social media platforms:
- TMI – To be honest, many of us are already guilty of grossly over-sharing our personal lives on social media. When you have a place to update your status 24/7, though, it shouldn’t come as any real surprise that eventually one’s entire personal life is right there for anyone and everyone to read on their profile.
- Inappropriate Friending – It tends to be an automatic reaction for some to “friend” someone after they’ve added you, accompanied by the friend confirmation request, whether this person is someone you know well or not. While they may not like the idea of saying ‘no’, safety should have a higher priority than popularity. Keep in mind, most platforms don’t inform people when you decline their request. Remind your child, it’s about quality over quantity.
- Posting Inappropriate Photos – Inappropriate photographs always seem to find their way onto people’s social pages. For that matter, taking such photos in the first place is ill-advised, to say the least. Coupled with the prospect of being friended by stalkers and strangers, not to mention being available for any potential employers or school officials, this makes for a very dangerous mix.
- Poor Time Management – It’s very easy to lose track of one’s time while socializing on many networks, and hours at a time can be lost without even realizing it, often at the expense of more important things like homework, chores, etc. It may be wise to install a filter software that can monitor use and block certain sites during specified time periods to ensure that your kids don’t spend too much time on the website.
- Indiscriminate Downloading – Many social sites are notorious for third party apps that seek to gain access to personal data and the friend lists of members who use them. There’s a large risk associated with accepting gifts via some of these app, unfortunately, that could end up compromising your personal information.
- Poor Grammar – As with chat rooms, IM’s, and text messaging, all of which came prior to social media, posts (comments) can tend toward cyber shorthand, whether it’s in the interest of brevity or simply born out of sheer laziness. Although it’s acceptable – even necessary in some cases – to limit character usage, it’s very easy for this habit to leak over to your child’s more formal writing and correspondence. Never forget, your online behavior is a reflection of your offline character.
- Not Safeguarding Personal Info – Social platforms provides varying levels of privacy settings for its users. Members can share everything with anyone, or limit access to their profile to just friends and/or family. Kids today have become ok and even lax with the safeguarding of their personal information, and identity theft, stalking or harassment can end up being one of the penalties for your child being too open with his or her personal information. Encourage your kids to review their privacy settings on all the apps they are engaged on. This should be repeated monthly – since many networks update their technology frequently and we have seen loopholes happen.
Finally, don’t forget it’s important to set boundaries on screen-time. As a matter of fact, studies has proven the majority of children want their parent’s to give them limits.