Last Tuesday, 10-year-old Brianna Vance from Henlawson, West Virginia saved her father’s life with social media. During that day, a violent storm caused cellphone signals to be cut and Vance’s father, as well as two friends, was injured during the storm in question. Without any other options, Vance was able to login to Facebook where she posted a message for help, which brought rescue crews to the scene to transport the three injured individuals to the hospital. What would have happened if Vance didn’t know how to use Facebook, let alone social media in general?
It’s understandable that there are many parents who are concerned about their parents utilizing social media. However, stories like these show that it can be handy, if not life-saving. This does not mean that there shouldn’t be a level of care taken. If you are a parent, here are 5 social media tips for your kids, that any online marketing firm would be able to support.
5 Effective and Safe Social Media Tips for Your Kids
1. Create ground rules
Every social media website has terms and conditions but I don’t want to focus on those for the time being. Instead, you should enforce household rules of your own as they pertain to social media and the Internet in general. One example is Facebook cannot be logged into until all homework is done. Another good rule would be to not post any pictures without parents’ permission. Go over rules like these in detail with your childhood so that they are understood as clearly as possible.
2. Understand age limits
Every website has age restrictions, some of them more lenient than others. For example, Facebook does not allow anyone under 13 to create their own account. “Facebook can’t tell if someone is really age that they claim,” you may respond. You’d be right; there is no true way for Facebook to verify someone’s age, whether they are seven years old or 70. However, as a parent, this is where you mustact. You must tell your child when it’s okay for them to have an account and, just as importantly, enforce the rules until that time comes.
3. Stress the importance of passwords
Specifically, you want to make sure that your child creates different passwords for every site that is utilized. The importance of varied codes has become especially prevalent following the reported Heartbleed bug this past April, as many websites stressed that their users change their password. As a result, if you are a concerned parent, you might want to tell your children about this. Let them know that not only should their passwords be different from one another but easy enough to remember as well.
4. Keep tabs on your child’s activity
This is a tricky step, since you do not want your child to feel as though his or her privacy is being invaded. Something as simple as issuing a friend invite on Facebook can help matters at the onset. Be wary of the people that he or she communicates with. Even though it’s likely that they will connect with friends from school more than anyone else, there’s no such thing as being too careful on the Internet. Oversee your child’s social activity but be mindful of how you go about this.
5. Lead by example
Are you the kind of person who is addicted to Twitter? Maybe you can’t stop reblogging posts on Tumblr, no matter where you are. Instances like these can give your child the wrong idea of how to utilize social media. Cut down on how much you go about this endeavors, especially if you are at work or driving home. Your child will most likely follow your lead if he or she sees you do it enough. Not only will this keep your child safe, in regards to social media, but it can improve your quality of life as well.