FindItMore | Social media are increasingly important for our contacts, also for children. The generation of parents now has at least one more time without Facebook and Whatsapp. But our children now have a complete life history, from the announcement of the pregnancy, on social media. The consequences of this can be far-reaching. Without knowing it, your children can damage themselves by sharing too much online. That is why it is good to inform your children and to draw up guidelines.
5 dangers of social media that you should talk to your children about
1. The danger of strangers
Children find it difficult to judge people they do not know, and it is even more difficult to see the difference between friends and enemies online. It is very important that parents with younger children know which apps their children use and what those apps do. Many of those applications aimed at young children have a social aspect. People who try to reach children will also use those apps. So be careful that they cannot just be approached by someone they do not know at all.
Explain to your children that many people on social media are not who they say they are. Set on their Facebook or other apps that they cannot just be found by anyone. You can see what apps they use with the help of FamilyTime parental control app. It is best to accept only known friends on their profiles.
2. Sharing information – do not reveal too much
Another point to explain is how much they can reveal about themselves online. You want to make sure that your child does not just talk to strangers about where he / she lives and is in school. Explain that this type of information has been known to real friends for a long time and that they are ways for strangers with bad intentions to find you. That such a question is not simply asked, but often for a certain purpose. Also make sure that your child adheres to the limitations of the apps, they are not just there.
3. Beware of placing photos
Children should know the potential risks of what they post online. Especially photos can be very dangerous. It is important that children do not send photos unless they are 100% sure that it is a friend. Photos contain Exif data – information about the location and time that the camera or phone is attached to the photo digitally. This is important to know because someone can use that data to determine the exact geographic location where that photo was taken. On most platforms, Exif data is automatically deleted when placing a photo or video. This is the case on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Yet it is good to know because it is often communicated by email.
Apart from the Exif data, a photo can also be used to harass you or even make a fool of you. More and more you see that ‘online shaming’ occurs. Here, a photograph is used of a personal nature (e.g. a nude photo) to fool someone for the entire school. Unfortunately, you will never get such a photo again, because it will soon be copied on all sorts of weird sites.
4. Social media keep everything forever
Parents have to explain to their children that everything on social media will also be visible in the future. This means that in the future universities, colleges, potential employers and everyone else will be able to see your photos that you place when you are 16. Explain to them that if they ever want to become an astronaut, a professional footballer or a prime minister, they can pay more attention to what they now put on Facebook.
Talk to your children about bullying and explain that it may not seem as bad when online, but that is just as bad. If you are physically bullied at school as a child, you are at least still safe at home. However, social media is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Now that bullying is happening online, a child is nowhere safe. Therefore, together with your children, make a list of rules about the use of social media and hang them next to the computer. This checklist can contain the following questions:
– Is this going to hurt a person’s feelings?
– How would I feel if this message read?
– Is this in any way threatening?
Try, as with everything open, to talk honestly with your children about social media. Explain to your child, for example, that if they have doubts about a message, they should show it to you. Prohibition does not make sense, it only works secretly in the hand. Moreover, your children would miss all kinds of social interactions. Social media is part of our life, so explaining and learning to deal with it is much better.