Parental Communication and Social Media
Posted by Bradley W. Deacon
Social media and effective management of your teenagers daily engagement is at the forefront of every caring parents mind. With the proliferation of social media mediums such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pintarest, My Space (yes its making a comeback) just to name a few and instant messaging/communication services such as Skype, Viber, Blackberry Messaging, Whats App and We Chat all providing various means of communication channels for your children it is no wonder parents and school administrators are worried.
However hard you may try to limit access to some or all of these social media and communication channels it is imperative that you keep across what is available to your children and how they interact with each service. One way to start an effective social media and digital communication relationship with your child is to encourage your children to openly communicate with you about each social media and communication medium they wish to install on their smartphones, IPODs, tablets etc and collectively you should review the privacy settings and ensure they are aware that geotagging is switched off in the first instance.
Once you discuss each service and both understand how it works, take a genuine interest in the digital environment that they are using, become active yourself even if only to a small degree as this way it will not appear you are ‘intercepting’ their communication that is in open forums but just being ‘you’ and communicating with your own friends in a forum that your child sees. Of course they like you will have ‘private’ messages and it is here you must establish trust with your child.
Over the next week Cyber Guardians Online will post a blog that will focus on capturing crucial evidence on social media and messaging services and we urge you to watch out for that blog post and share it with your children.
By showing your child how to use effective tools that are at their fingertips on how to preserve any forms of bullying, harassment, intimidation or misconduct for reporting to you and or the relevant authorities is reinforcing to your child that you are working in partnership to ensure their digital experience is a safe one.
It is open communication that is the pinnacle to effective parental/child working relationships with the internet and their have been instances where parents have taken a strong ‘arm’ approach where parents have either disallowed social media or been far too restrictive on its use thus backfiring on the parents. Children are computer savvy at an early age and more than likely know peers that have created ‘phantom’ accounts on Facebook and the like and these ‘friends’ are actively using these accounts. It is here that those children are most at risk in that they know more than likely that their parents do not know about the ‘phantom’ account and engage in online behaviour as if they are ‘bullett-proof placing them in extreme danger.
Previous cases involving children being groomed to meet online older strangers have in a high number of instances come from children defying their parents and having a ‘phantom’ social media account. Kidnappings, sexual assaults and even murders have occurred where persons have either stalked the phantom account holder or lured them to meetings at remote locations.
Whilst Facebook, Twitter and the like are based in the United States and generally coöperate with law enforcement agencies, up and coming instant messaging services are being established at an alarming rate in countries that have limited internet controls or safeguards nor do their governments encourage information sharing with law enforcement making it harder to identify, track and locate persons who engage in criminal activity.
Over the coming weeks Forensic Psychologist Tim Watson-Munro will post a blog with regards to such behaviour and go into detail with regards to this area of social media activity.
Ultimately a good understanding of all your childs digital content and activity and open communication channels will result in your child more than likely enjoying his or her online activity with their peers but will also make it a safer place for them to take part in.
Posted on December 13, 2012, in Facebook, Instagram, Social Media Management, Uncategorized and tagged Business, Facebook, Instagram, Marketing and Advertising, Parent, Skype, social-media, Twitter. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a Comment.