Updated: Jul 10, 2020
A quick and easy guide for parenting a generation of social media addicts.
There are a lot of different approaches when it comes to how to control your kids social media footprint. As a teenager, I feel like the real key is to walk the very fine line between not asking at all what they’re putting on the internet, and heavily monitoring and tracking every second they go online. If you go too far, you could potentially lose trust and end up creating more ways of evading what you can see.
It’s important to realize that kids these days have had it drilled into them every single year that what they put on the internet is permanent. Most kids are not ignorant about the effect their pictures can have on their future lives.
Just from my personal experience, the problem is not that they will carelessly post a picture of them smiling underage drinking or live streaming a robbery. The main problem comes from how much social media can be controlling you. The amount of time that we spend on sites like twitter and TikTok and Instagram can really affect who we are as a person. But that does not mean all social media is evil.
Sending TikToks to friends is a great way to keep in contact with people you might not talk to during quarantine otherwise. Twitter can keep you updated on current events and become more politically active. Snapchat lets you casually talk to anyone whenever you feel like talking. If a kid has a real social media addiction it might be better to try and treat it professionally or very slowly, because just taking away a device or an account usually does not get into the root of the issue. Social media is an addiction and we should treat it that way. Withdrawal symptoms can arise if social media is forcefully removed. More than anything, the best thing is to talk to your kid about their social media habits personally, because at the end of the day every teenager is different in how social media affects their life.