000-017   000-080   000-089   000-104   000-105   000-106   070-461   100-101   100-105  , 100-105  , 101   101-400   102-400   1V0-601   1Y0-201   1Z0-051   1Z0-060   1Z0-061   1Z0-144   1z0-434   1Z0-803   1Z0-804   1z0-808   200-101   200-120   200-125  , 200-125  , 200-310   200-355   210-060   210-065   210-260   220-801   220-802   220-901   220-902   2V0-620   2V0-621   2V0-621D   300-070   300-075   300-101   300-115   300-135   3002   300-206   300-208   300-209   300-320   350-001   350-018   350-029   350-030   350-050   350-060   350-080   352-001   400-051   400-101   400-201   500-260   640-692   640-911   640-916   642-732   642-999   700-501   70-177   70-178   70-243   70-246   70-270   70-346   70-347   70-410   70-411   70-412   70-413   70-417   70-461   70-462   70-463   70-480   70-483   70-486   70-487   70-488   70-532   70-533   70-534   70-980   74-678   810-403   9A0-385   9L0-012   9L0-066   ADM-201   AWS-SYSOPS   C_TFIN52_66   c2010-652   c2010-657   CAP   CAS-002   CCA-500   CISM   CISSP   CRISC   EX200   EX300   HP0-S42   ICBB   ICGB   ITILFND   JK0-022   JN0-102   JN0-360   LX0-103   LX0-104   M70-101   MB2-704   MB2-707   MB5-705   MB6-703   N10-006   NS0-157   NSE4   OG0-091   OG0-093   PEGACPBA71V1   PMP   PR000041   SSCP   SY0-401   VCP550   000-080   1Z0-051   300-208   350-029   102-400   1z0-434   220-801   70-347   1Z0-804   210-260   640-911   300-135   NSE4   EX200   070-461   70-534   700-501   9L0-012   MB6-703   400-101   70-480   M70-101   SY0-401   PMP   1Z0-061   9A0-385   642-732   000-017   9L0-066   JN0-102   1Z0-061   70-411   1V0-601   300-206   400-051   MB2-707   640-692   101   70-346   CISSP   HP0-S42   PR000041   PMP   300-075   200-125  , 300-135   CCA-500   2V0-620   CISM   OG0-093  

What Parents Need to Know About Mobile Social Apps – Greater Pensacola Parents

What Parents Need to Know About Mobile Social Apps

It was probably inevitable.  Now that 70% of teens are friends with their parents on Facebook, some are looking for less supervised places to socialize.  A recent report from the Pew Internet and American Life Project found that even though most teens feel obligated to maintain a presence on Facebook, many expressed “waning enthusiasm”.  Their reasons? The site has been “colonized” by adults, and there’s too much drama.  “Teens are looking for a place they can call their own,” observes Danah Boyd, a fellow at the Berkman Center for the Internet and Society at Harvard University.   “Rather than all flocking en masse to a different site, they’re fragmenting across apps.”

Having teens on a variety of social media apps makes supervision more difficult.  The classic advice—“keep the computer in a public space”—is hopelessly quaint, especially for teens who socialize on cellphones.    One response is to use monitoring software that will alert parents anytime a child sends or receives a message that’s inappropriate.  (Ten of these programs are reviewed by Mobile Independent Phone Reviews at mireview.com)

Although surveillance may be a good short term fix for some kids, it can obscure the long-term goal—raising kids who use good judgment about social media.  These kids resist the temptation to behave poorly just because they are online, and they know how to protect themselves when they encounter bullies, trolls and other online predators.  How do you equip your child with those essential life skills?  Here are a few suggestions:

Limit social networking of any kind for middle school students.  Pre-adolescents are learning how to manage relationships and the process isn’t always pretty.  Middle school kids are very aware of themselves and not very aware of others.  Even the nicest kids say mean things– and are devastated if someone says something mean to them. Being part of social media compounds the damage by making clumsy comments, ill-advised fashion choices and failed attempts at humor permanent and more widely available.      

Check the apps on your child’s phone.  Review  the apps on your child’s phone every time you pay the phone bill.  Ask questions that will help your child think critically about social apps:  How did you find out about the app?  Does it do what you want it to do?  What information does it collect about you?  Does it broadcast your location?  How much time do you spend with it? How could it be improved?  What kind of community does it create?

Be aware of the connection between social media and self esteem.  For many young people, social media intensifies the pressure to be popular.  They may obsess about how many followers they have, how many likes a particular post attracts or parties they didn’t attend. Parents can’t micromanage this part of a child’s life—teens learn by making social mistakes.  At the same time, they can buffer the impact of social media by giving  kids plenty of positive attention, supporting healthy off-line friendships and pointing out the limited shelf life of popularity.

Teach self-protection strategies.   Talk to your child about how they can respond to mean or crude comments with tactics similar to those they would use offline.  If possible, ignore bad behavior.  The other person may just be having a really terrible day.  Don’t respond in kind because that is likely to escalate the problem.  Whenever possible, use humor to defuse conflict.  Take advantage of privacy settings to block people who are always mean or negative.  If a post is threatening, save a copy and share it with a trusted adult.

Be sure your child knows you have his back.  Many teens don’t talk to their parents about social media problems for fear that parents will overreact. Let your children know that you have confidence in them to handle most situations but you want to know about any online interactions that feel scary or overwhelming. If a child comes to you with an online problem, resist the urge to take charge.  Instead, help your child think through how he or she wants to handle the situation.  What is motivating the person who is causing the problem? Is this a relationship that matters to your child? Does he or she have offline contact with the person? Most important, listen!

When you think about it, the social skills young people need to succeed with social media aren’t all that different from the ones that they will need in the offline world.   As a parent, you can help your children stay focused on the big picture—what kind of people do they want to be and what kind of friends will support them in becoming those people?  For kids who keep those goals clearly in mind, the particular app they are using at the moment won’t much matter. 

Carolyn Jabs, M.A., has been writing the Growing Up Online column for ten year. She is also the author of Cooperative Wisdom: Bringing People Together When Things Fall Apart.  Available at Amazon and Cooperative Wisdom.org.  @ Copyright, 2017, Carolyn Jabs.  All rights reserved.

Carolyn Jabs

Carolyn Jabs, M.A., raised three computer savvy kids including one with special needs. She has been writing Growing Up Online for ten years and is working on a book about constructive responses to conflict. Visit www.growing-up-online.com to read other columns. @ Copyright, 2016, Carolyn Jabs. All rights reserved.

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