Parents in this ever-changing digital world sometimes find it difficult to keep up with apps and social networks which are popular with teenagers. Unfortunately, a lot of teenagers are taking advantage of this and becoming so free that they might use social media wrongly.
As for children under 13 years old to use social networks, you also need to update your knowledge to show how your children use social networks properly. This will help your child become more conscious, responsible when using social media later.
The article below will analyze 10 social media etiquette that parents need to know to educate their children about the do’s and don’ts when online more effectively, ensuring their children are happy in playing and making healthy friends in this virtual world which is full of pitfalls.
10 social media etiquette for teens you need to know
Treat others the way you want to be treated
One of the golden rules of social media etiquette for students is that reminding your child to text, interact with others online like they would talk and treat them face to face. Tell your child that in front of them is not a laptop or phone screen but a real person or people sitting across from them to receive their text messages.
So before you press the send button, how do you feel when that person receives the message you are sending? If the answer is negative then you shouldn’t send it.
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These are the traces of things your child leaves behind when they go online. Everything you post is public whether you delete the post or not, once you have commented, posted anything, it will be forever on the Internet and be traceable. One of the most common application of digital footprint is sexting – which is mentioned in the next part.
Curiosity, rebellion, a desire to be complemented by others to praise his/her body and a desire to prove himself/herself to his friends, as well as the development of smartphone cameras has made a way for more serious sexting – sending, receiving and sharing explicit messages, images/videos. This has increasingly been rejuvenating in the teen years.
This situation is especially worse during the COVID-19 when children are forced to stay at home, feeling bored drives to do something “new” and more “interesting”. Also, there is a higher risk of unwanted online contact. Many children become anxious, depressed, etc. when their image is spread by bad guys throughout groups and chat forums.
Let your child know that any nudity of anyone under the age of 18 can be defined as child pornography. Sex attackers are increasingly targeting younger teens, sometimes infants, and the evidence is that so many teenage girls claim that they have to go through at least one guy who sent nude/semi-nude images to them.
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Pay attention to the form of the message
Do not use all the capital letters when your child is texting or posting something because caps are considered a form of “yelling” on the Internet and will make the other person triggered and uncomfortable.
Besides, don’t overuse the exclamation point. While the exclamation mark may show your child’s feelings, try using the right words to better describe his or her point of view.
Don’t post anything when you are angry
A lot of kids often “let go” of all their worries and sorrows on social media, and this is never a good idea. Sending text messages, posting statuses to release their current anger can make them more satisfied than they are now, but they will have to feel guilty or regretful in the future.
If your child is too impatient and unable to resist the temptation to speak and express to someone, press the power button to turn off all the devices. Then calm down and regain the neutral state.
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Words do hurt
Sometimes everything that happens online is more rough and harsh than communicating it face-to-face. One reason is that we rely on nonverbal communication to help us interpret conversations. Unless your child is using a video chat app, most websites don’t let them see the person’s reaction to what they are saying.
So certain words or punctuation may imply something different than when they are spoken directly.
Shamming or hurting others is a very common occurrence on social media, known as cyberbullying. Tell your child to regularly read and re-read the messages, comments, descriptions, status they are about to send or post, because what they are going to make public can affect badly their friends, even make them commit suicide.
Quality is more important than quantity
During adolescence, especially puberty, children are more dependent on relationships with friends than parents, so to get more followers or interactions, most children will be more inclined to overshare their life on social media: from meals, coffee, to life conception, and so on.
The more they share, the more confidential and private information your child will reveal so that they can still be saved and used by those who hate them to damage their reputation later.
Teach your children that the fewer people see you in that virtual world, the more you make them think about you.
Be careful with personal information
One of the most basic social media etiquette: Do not provide personal and confidential information, private photos/videos online. And never share full names, home addresses, phone numbers, passwords, school names, names of family members or credit card numbers. At this point, you are giving the bad guy a chance to steal information and the sex harasser to keep an eye on your private life.
Don’t trust people – bad guys are everywhere
Tell your child not to talk to strangers. Don’t go into chat rooms especially in secret messaging apps and reveal private things about yourself. Your child may feel that they know this person, but he/she could be fake to make your child a victim.
For example, a 33-year-old man from Plymouth disguised himself as a 15-year-old boy to seduce 12- and 13-year-old girls to send him nudity. The bad guy, especially the sex attacker, is increasingly targeting young people aged 13-17 to pretend to build relationships and seduce teens, especially girls, to send nudity for him.
You’re worth much more than that “one like”
Let your children understand and appreciate themselves. Your child must stand firm and be proud of themselves, accept his/her shortcomings and should not rely on the virtual life out there to have negative thoughts about themselves because their online presence is only part of your child wonderful life.
Let them know that the world’s most powerful, successful people don’t have a social media account or personally run it. So, instead of focusing on each of those likes and followers in that virtual world, they focus on improving themselves for the better and more successful every day.
We do hope that this social media etiquette article will help you parents better educate children to become a responsible citizen on social media!