Where do I start with social networking sites? The question that most parents ask themselves with a very quizzical look. Social media has become so pervasive with new sites continually emerging with new challenges that most parents don’t know where to start.
To prevent the proverbial throwing up of the hands, here are ten things every parent should know about social media…
1. What happens in Vegas stays on Facebook. The permanency of the Internet is too often lost on a majority of users who simply share too much too often. In reality, the first point of call for most employers is now Facebook.
2. Set the rules. By dictating the rules before your child starts an account you will be laying the groundwork for a safe and harmonious environment when your child can make the most of a resource that can be engaging, informative and enjoyable.
3. There is an age limit. Facebook dictates that users must be 13 or older to start an account. Twitter, YouTube and other social networking sites have not set an age limit. However, flaunting this rule is easy enough as any user can simply enter a false date of birth and Facebook have no way of enforcing their own age restrictions.
4. Most children don’t use their Facebook privacy settings properly. Unfortunately, Facebook tend to change the layout and settings of Facebook accounts every 6 to 9 months. In turn, this inadvertently tends to reset and reorganise the privacy settings of each account. Most young people either don’t know how to adjust all their privacy settings or fail to check just what personal information they are sharing with the online world.
5. To control the game you need to be in the game. Parents must, at the very least, have a conversation with their children about what social networking sites they are members, what personal details they have entered online and who they are friends with on each particular site.