Opening up a birthday gift in sheer excitement and ending up getting a book or a toy is a disappointment for ‘Generation Z’ kids. The only demand of today’s kids is phone and that too a smart phone.
Study of the Media Development Authority (MDA), Singapore on 1,200 Singaporeans and permanent residents aged 14 and below reveals that 60 percent of the respondents started using social media between ages seven and ten,13 percent had started earlier at the age of six or younger. It’s been found that every 2 in 3 S’poreans is addicted to social networking sites.
The digital world has built many homes inside but kids get captivated in a home named ‘Social Media.’ The world is growing with children and it becomes important for parents to run at the same pace but the old habits die hard.
Keeping a check on child’s social media is a challenging task. But taking a right path will end in a positive result for both parents and kids.
Tips To Keep Your Kids Safe on Social Media
1. Be An Encyclopedia Of Social Media
Change is inevitable. The only answer that comes to your mind when asked about big social media app is ‘Facebook’. But social media is running at lightning speed and as a parent, it is important to get familiar with all the social sites or apps your kid is using.
On your child’s demand to experience new app, learn about the app together, investigating the privacy settings of the app. The popular social apps for kids and teens are Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, YouTube, Tumblr, and Vine.
Do your thorough home-work on these social apps and know its all pros and cons.
2. If underage, Social Media Is Not A Right Stage
Not allowing your child to use social media is the best thing. But it’s a good idea to let them know at what age they can start with. Did you know that Facebook does not permit anyone under the age of 13 to open an account? But there are many ways to which an account can be opened. At the end, it is your last say that decides whether an account of your kid will be created or not.
If you want to connect with your kid, make sure they disconnect from social media.
3. Computer to Be Stationed At Central Location
You can’t stop your child to use the social media, so keeping a hawk-eye on their social media usage is important. Instead of placing a computer in child’s bedroom, it is advised to keep the computer in the area which is open and mostly accessible to all other family members. The family room or kitchen is the most preferred place for computer installation.
4. Online Danger From The Stranger
If you think your kids are too small to know the bitter truth about this cruel world, then you are wrong. The pace with which technology is running can be matched only by talking with kids. It is understandable that this sort of sharing will be scaring your kid, but it’s better to be scared than to be a victim of social media trap.
A 2012 study by Microsoft showed that Singapore had the second highest rate of cyber-bullying globally.
Make your kids aware that only those pictures should be posted that present themselves and others in the positive light. By talking to your kids about the danger signs of social media, they will more likely think twice before posting a photo or sharing their locations with others online.
Not every part of your private life should be public.
5. Set Guidelines And Rules
Set the limit on usage of social media by your kids. Set rules, but not rigid rules. Setting a time limit that for how long your child can spend on social media is a good decision. Try to set that time which is good for both you and your kid so that you both can go online together and it will inject a positive social media habit in your child.
Establish guidelines and rules in such a way that a child feels independent and does not hide anything from you.
It takes discipline not to let social media steal your time.
6. Keep a Check on Privacy settings
Social media sites keep on updating the security settings to ensure full safety online. But most of them have to be updated manually. So you have to make it your routine habit to continuously updating the privacy settings of your child’s social media account. Set the privacy settings of internet and social site to the strictest level. In addition, it will protect the computer from various viruses too.
“Online is old news. Online in social media is today’s news…
Social media is not a subset of the internet. Social media is the internet.”