Welcome to the age of social media, where school is taught, movies are watched, and teenagers communicate with their friends. I believe Uncle Ben summed up the social age best when he said “With great power, comes great responsibility”. As a mom of two teenagers, I can honestly state that we have had the responsibility discussion weekly in my household. Each time I am awakened to something new in media, a new discussion immediately takes place.
Recently, I asked my friends what they believe are the most important lessons every teenager must learn about social media. A great discussion came as a result, leading to an inspiring list that will help open a dialogue between parents and their teens.
5 Important Lessons Every Teenager Must Learn About Social Media
5. Social media is not reality. People post a mere fraction of their life on social media. And posting a fraction of one’s life on social media is a good thing! The world does not need to know every detail of our business. Boundaries are good. Most important, our self worth should not be determined by what we see posted on social media. Teenagers: You matter! You are valuable! You are loved. Remember this!
4. Social Media is a valuable tool when used responsibly. Use social media to build each other up. Delete, block, stop following any social media outlets that are negative and cause you to feel bad about yourself. Follow positive social media channels only.
3. Do not post personal information on social media. Ever. Further, do not give out your personal information to people you meet online! Personal information includes birthdate, car type, street name, school you attend, places you frequent, last name, etc. We often do not know who is behind the handle and we must always be more than cautious. A good rule of thumb: If you wouldn’t do it offline, don’t do it online!
2. Don’t post naked pictures of yourself nor send them out. Just don’t. You don’t want your picture passed on and on and on. Value yourself. Value your body. You are a treasure! A gift. Keep your social media classy, teens!
And, the #1 most important lesson your teen must learn ASAP:
Everything you post is online forever. And ever. Forever! What you post has potential to influence not only your peers and life in the present, but also your future education and employment.
Parents: What do you believe is the most important lesson that your teenagers need to know about social media? Let’s keep the discussion going in the comments below!