Children as young as preschool know how to use an iPad. Grade schoolers have their social media accounts, and some have their own cell phones. More than 80% of teens are online at least once per day (Pew Research). It’s astonishing how advanced today’s children are, but parents need to pull in the reigns and make sure their children are safe on the internet. Just because you can’t see the other person doesn’t give you a free pass to forget your social media manners.
Read Posts Twice, Delete if In Question
First, take the high road. Chat rooms, texts, and status updates are all in-the-moment conversations. Once it’s out there, somebody is bound to see it. There’s no more taking it back once you have said it. These days people are more inclined to say what’s on their mind, but that’s not always the best policy. Instead, reread what you have written after typing it. Does it match your character? If not, delete it. Don’t let people have that image of you in their head; this is likely to change their perception of who you really are.
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Good Social Media Manners Means Remembering that Everything is Permanent Online
Children also have to know that good social media manners means remembering that everything on the internet is permanent. While it can be deleted, anything on the internet can still be found by an honest hacker. Children, too, need to realize that employers and colleges will one day look at their social media profiles. They’re going to look at what activities the child has been involved in and whether or not they are worthy to be part of the institution. Don’t give the employers or schools any doubts to turn you away. Keep questionable photos offline altogether and don’t send them to anyone who would share them while tagging you in the photo.
Think about how your posts describe your character
Grammar and punctuation are also really important. Before you post anything, always read it over. This shows everyone on your news feed that you care about being grammatically correct. It also shows that you’re well-spoken and well-educated. If you don’t take the time to proofread or spellcheck, people are automatically going to assume that you have a poor education. Also, in the digital world, it’s best to avoid caps locks. This indicates a person is yelling, such as when they say BOOM! Be careful about how you represent yourself.
Recognize the Ownership of Others
Children also need to weary about what content they post on their social media pages. They can not get photos or videos from any website via the internet. Many of these websites have copyrighted the material, which means the owner of the website owns the content or has rights to it. In order to use it, children must source it on their page via a backlink or simply noting the website. This way, they are not claiming the content as their own.
Know when to log-off
Finally, children must know when it’s important to log off. They must know the difference between online communication and face-to-face communication. It’s going to hurt relationships with loved ones if they do not learn the difference. Teach the child what they are portraying with nonverbal languages, such as body language. If they stay on their phone all the time, they are ignoring people in the same room with them, and that’s not good manners. These social media etiquette strategies are going to boost your child as they log on to the internet, but let’s be real. Online or in life, they are good to practice anywhere and anytime.