10 Social Media Rules to Live By
Social media is a tough subject. We’ve created a world where real, tangible interactions are always at our fingertips. I personally have signed the Wait until 8th pledge for my children, but the thought of them having social profiles even now causes me a great deal of anxiety. Exercising self-control and restraint on social media can be exceptionally difficult. When we as adults have trouble doing this (and we do – just look at some of the heated threads on Facebook and Nextdoor for examples), it’s very difficult to teach and mandate responsible social media behaviors to our children. There are many days where I’d prefer to ignore it completely, but it is becoming more and more difficult to stay informed without it.
Parents, this article focuses on things to teach our children, but I think it can serve as a reminder to us as well. These 10 social media rules help keep your kids safe, physically and emotionally, but they serve as a great barometer everyone. It’s worth a read.
10 Social Media Rules to Live By
1. Privacy settings are KEY.
Even with really restrictive settings, privacy is really a farce. Make sure your kids know that everything they post or share can be re-posted, re-shared, screen-shotted … the list is endless. Even if you have the best privacy settings, someone who you allow into your social networks may not. There really is no privacy in social media. This is why the children of diplomats, FBI agents, and anyone involved in a career requiring anonymity are not permitted on social media or even online. This is a big deal.
2. Nothing can ever be permanently deleted.
Donald Trump deleted a ton of his past tweets before taking office as president. We know about them anyway because people screen-shotted them and published them in various forums. If a friend posts something that offends you & later deletes it, your offense to that post doesn’t go away. What you put out there represents yourself. Choose wisely.
3. Social Media should never be used as a shield.
Apologies and confrontations should be reserved for face-to-face interactions. Always. Wouldn’t the world be a better place if everyone heeded this warning? Face-to-face is definitely harder, but it’s so, so worth it.
4. Remember there are REAL people with REAL feelings behind the profiles
This is good advice & it goes hand in hand with not using social media as a shield, It’s a lot easier to get offended, get into fights, misinterpret, and overreact to something when it’s just words, when you don’t see the physical characteristics behind the text. When you find yourself getting upset or heated on social media, it’s always a good idea to pause and be mindful. You never know the full back story. Most of the time, people deserve the benefit of the doubt.
5. It’s okay to disagree with someone’s opinion, but it is not OK to be mean to them because you disagree with them.
This happens a lot on social media – people with the best of intentions engage in heated arguments with other people with the best of intentions, and they completely forget (or fail to ever acknowledge) that their goals are often the same. Fall back on that thing your mom always said – if you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all. That tried and true advice is extra important on social media.
6. You are not your social media account. Don’t let negative comments, statuses, or no likes at all change how you feel about yourself.
So many people use social media as self-validation. Danger, Will Robinson! Self-awareness is a journey often thwarted by instant gratification. Teach your children that their differences make them unique. Teach them to love themselves and seek validation from those they know and trust. Social media shouldn’t be a part of this equation. If it is, they shouldn’t be using it. Seriously. This is true for adults, too.
7. It’s easier to attain a bad online reputation than a good one.
We’ve all done something online that we regretted. Our words follow us (yes, even after they’re deleted).
8. Avoid drama
DIsagree with a friend? Great. Tell them to their face. Use self control and keep conflict off your social profiles. Click away.
9. Don’t ever mention your location
Ever. Ever. Ever. I don’t want to get into the reasons why. If you’re under 18 years old, just DON’T DO IT. In fact, if you’re over 18, don’t do it unless you explicitly need to for your job or because you’re promoting something. It’s just good sense.
10. Take breaks from social media
Take a day of rest. Keep the phones away from the dinner table. Establish ‘no technology’ zones or hours. Take a trip somewhere without wifi. Do whatever you can to restore balance between screens and personal interactions, for yourself and your family.
For better or worse, everyone’s lives have been changed by a social media. Let’s all commit to better practices so we can protect our future generations.
Adapted from this source: 10 Life-Saving Things We Need to Teach Our Kids About Social Media | For Every Mom
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