Students today know nothing but social media. It is honestly a part of who they are. Social media is totally okay, but like everything else, the devil wishes to corrupt it. For parents, monitoring it can be a nightmare. Students have cell phones earlier in life. They have access to their social media accounts all of the time whether that be on their personal computer or their smart phone. So, how can parents avoid the negative effects that social media can have on their student?
- Participate with them on social media– If your student has a facebook account, you need a facebook account. If a student has a twitter, instagram, or vine account, you need one too. You say, this is too much for a parent. Yeah, it might be, but what are your students worth to you? Are they not worth a little more of an effort to get into their world? Getting social media accounts of your own gives you the opportunity to know what your student is thinking, who they are interacting with, and what they are ultimately doing. Social media can expose who your student really is.
- Limit the usage of social media– Do not allow them to be on their phones during meals. Teach students that they can communicate with others face to face, and not just through social media. Take their phone from them before you go to bed so that they are not in their room on social media all night. Students need to understand that there is life outside of social media.
- Know their passwords– If they have a smart phone with a lock code, you as the parent should have access to this. You also should know the passwords for their facebook, twitter, instagram, or any other social media account that they may have. This is not to control them, but if a student has absolutely nothing to hide, they will have no problem with giving you the passwords. After all, you are the parent, and technically own the property as well 🙂
- Monitor Downloaded Apps– Each day, you as the parent should know what is being downloaded on your students’ phone. Do research if you do not recognize an app. Not all apps are good for a 15 year old to be downloading. If you do not approve of a certain app, talk to your student about it, and not allow the app to be downloaded.
- Friend their friends– Now, I know you do not want to be “That parent,” but at least get to know who they are connecting with online. Sometimes, it may be scary, but it is good to know who your student is connecting with, because they are influencing your child. Be careful who you are allowing to influence your student. By the way, students are regularly meeting brand new people online that they have never met before in person. I believe that this is still dangerous so be cautious of this as well.