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Parenting in the Age of Social Media

Oct. 5, 2017
By: Teacher Angela Tarroza

We are already in the current times when social media is highly accessible to practically everybody. Our very own homes, restaurants, places of recreation, and public places are already equipped with Wi-Fi, and when connection is intermittent, we rely on our own data connection provided by our carriers. Everything is just a click away.

I have nothing against the use of social media. It has been an outlet of self-expression, I can access and share things that are of my interests, which gives me emotional satisfaction and it is primarily one of the ways to communicate with my family, friends and colleagues. I think we are on it due to the fact that we would want to develop a sense of who we are. Social media has also been a way of communicating or connecting with others, and keeping updated with what is happening around us.

As a parent and as a teacher, our goal is to prepare our kids to be competent in the real world—and in this age, we would also want them to be ready for the “online world”. We cannot simply take away the tablets, the iPads, Facebook, YouTube, and other social media platform that our kids are using or would use in the near future. However, we can learn and teach our kids ways to use these in moderation.

As parents, we want nothing but for our families to be safe and we have a high regard in protecting our kids whether it’s the real world or online. With this, we should know the downside of technology or dangers of too much sharing and usage of social media. Let’s also remember that the Internet provides anonymity to those who don’t have the purest intentions.

Please remember that these tips are merely suggestions but really helpful to also establish mindfulness when using social media/Internet:

1. We know that our smartphones can detect our location in which social media platforms entice us to share them along with the media that we post. Sure we can tag location but never ever tag the location of your own homes, like the street names, and village/subdivision names. The last thing we want to happen is let a stranger or an online predator find out our personal addresses. In my own witnessing, I have seen some friends or relatives do this. It is just plain risky.

2. Since we are parents, we would love to share our kids’ milestones to family members, relatives, and friends through photos. I myself do this but I make sure that I post occasionally, not everyday or three to five times a week. Online predators can use your child’s photos and I could not imagine the horrible ways our children’s pictures are utilized by online predators or pedophiles. The chances of these happening is slim considering that there are a lot of social media users out there, but we should be cautious of what we share on social media. I’ve read from an article that you can watermark your child’s photos to make sure that it’s yours, in case it gets stolen.

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3. Never share your personal details, like birthdays, e-mails, and such. Make sure your privacy settings are set to “friends only” or “only me” for information that are more personal.

4. From thumbnails, captions, and names of websites, you can gauge whether the videos that your children are watching are child-friendly. Make sure that you are the one who controls or navigate the websites to avoid click-baits or going to links that are not related to your activity. You can choose to download YouTube Kids instead of the usual application used by the general public.

The long and short of it is, there’s no harm in taking precautions because it is always for our safety and our family’s. Just remember to always “think before you post.”

 

 

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