This past Monday, I sat on a panel in Naples Florida where we talked about social media and children. It was put on by the Collier County School Board and the panel consisted of law enforcement officials, representatives from Naples High School, and an individual from the Naples Daily News as well to name a few.
Throughout the 2 hour discussion I was amazed at what I heard but not surprised, and thus I jotted down some things. Three of the recurring themes coming from everyone’s lips on the panel were:
- Education-It might seem as if that is a redundant thing to say in this type of setting, but it cannot be stressed enough how important it is to not only educate your children on the perils of certain aspects of social media, but how important it is to stay on top of it as well. the big follow up question to this was, “Where are we supposed to go for that information and education?”
- Accountability-Social media has now made everyone accountable for what they do and what they say now. Yet children do not realize the larger implications of their online actions and interactions in social networks. As parents it’s important to understand the broader implications of social media missteps.
- Communication-Ironic that the “thing” that helps us communicate with more people, seems to reduce the amount of communication amongst us. But in order to stay on top of what your child is doing and who they are doing it with, what they are saying and who are they saying it to, and what they are sharing and uploading and who that is with, you have to communicate and you have to do it a lot. In other words, talk to them, ask them questions, be proactive not reactive. Don’t be afraid to dig a little.
Along with the discussion were a few links that I had suggested that parents take note of:
Knowem.com-KnowEm allows you to check for the use of your brand, product, personal name or username instantly on over 350 popular and emerging social media websites.