"If use is unknown abuse is inevitable.- Dr. Myels Munroe"
Social Media is an active part of our lives in 2023, and our children have a direct access to it through the use of their phones. My goal and aim is to give you as parents tools to know and understand the world that your children are in. You should feel confident in understanding what your children are doing everyday in their free time.
Let's talk about what is Social Media:
1.Websites and applications that enable users to create and share content or to participate in social networking.
2.This includes – Apps on Phones, iPad (tablets), Gaming Consoles (Xbox, Play Station, etc.)
3.All the apps, need access to the internet
For your child to build a profile on Social Media all they need is a phone number and an email address. They do not need photos or even verification from an adult. This is even a scarier once you realize, that as easy it is for a student to create a profile, it's that easy for someone who is trying to get their information. Bad people are out there, and on a social media platform, our students are under the eyes of the world.
WhatsApp: (Chat Apps)
o Disappearing messages: Allows messages to disappear after being read,
§ Solve: Change the setting,
o Being added to groups without consent.
§ Solve: Change the setting that you cannot be added to groups without permission.
o Late night talking “Nothing good happens after 9 pm”.
§ Solve: Limited screen time.
Instagram/ TikTok/ Twitter/ Facebook (Photo/Video Apps)
o Anyone with an Instagram/TikTok account can see what you post
§ Solve: You can create a private account. This will allow you to evaluate who wants to follow you, allowing you control of access.
o Anyone can see your child's hangout spots
§ Solve: Don’t post locations whilst you are in that vicinity or at all
o Talking to people they don’t know
§ Solve: 1. Make sure your child has a private account. 2. Actively check their messages on Instagram. This is also key for group chats
o There are few restrictions to what people may post online.
§ Solve: It is unavoidable to see inappropriate or vulgar content. If there is a post that is inappropriate, someone will report it to the app through the use of the Community Guidelines. This does take time, as the apps need to check if the post does not align with the guidelines. There is a big chance however, that your child is viewing things that are not age appropriate.
How else can you help protect your child?
1. You can download a Parental Control app
- Free: Google Family Link
- Paid: Bark
2. Check their devices regularly and not on the same day
3. Phones sleep in a ‘Family communal space’
4. No TV's in Bedrooms
5. Find something to do with your child to connect with them
- Do life with them
- Teach them how to care for themselves
- Go outside
6. No passwords should be on their phones
God has placed your children into your lives for a reason. You are not alone! We are here to support you and partner with you to lead your child to success.