Social media was transformed from just being an avant-garde concept of interaction to the mainstream means of communication in these modern days. In fact, the conventional way of face-to-face communication has been left behind by interactions over the internet. People would rather make online connections rather than real-life ones, and to no avail, this practice is more popular among children.
But how did this impersonal, semi-anonymous means of communication get to be favored more than we have expected? There are a lot of advantages that online interaction can provide. First, a user gets to do whatever he wants because of the limited sense of accountability vested on users of social media. Second, the lack of personal connections can be compensated by the opportunity of exposure over the internet. Or perhaps, others just become users of social media for the purpose of jumping into the bandwagon of having an enriched digital lifestyle.
Whatever the reasons are for being hooked up with this means, we can’t deny the fact that there are dangers to it. And the scariest part of it is that if it has come to affect our children. It is our responsibility as parents to guide them about life—about social media use. And as we all know, it won’t be any healthier to restrict them to use it so. As they say, if you can’t beat them, join them. Given this situation, the best way is to guide them. And so, here are the top 3 Facebook fears and how they can be fixed. Read on.
· Cyber bullying. Bullying nowadays isn't just confined within school grounds; it has reached a whole new level that brings forth more terrifying and more traumatic consequences. All you have to do is listen to the news, and you will find out heartbreaking stories about kids driven to suicide after being harassed via social media. It most certainly is not a laughing matter; children have the tendency to succumb to those kinds of attacks. There are no easy solutions for this. One thing you can do is to be aware of the warning signs of bullying and talk to your kids about it. Teach them, first and foremost, to never initiate acts of bullying. If they are the object of the act, teach them not to respond nor retaliate. If things get way out of hand, make it known to them that there’s always someone who can listen to them, and you are one of the people they can trust.
·Stalking activities. A recent survey by McAfee reveals that one of four teenage girls admits to have chatted online with a total stranger, and 12 percent of them have actually met up with that somebody. This is bluntly fearsome. Who knows, that anonymous person might have ill intents on your child. To minimize—if not prevent—this type of occurrences, educate your child to make sure that he or she reveals as little personal information on his account. Furthermore, Facebook’s privacy settings can be optimized to ensure that only his friends or subset of friends can see what he posts. And reinforce to them the dangers of interacting with strangers.
· Your children themselves. More often than not, we underestimate the ambit of the internet. We may have the purest intentions with our social media activities, but little do we know that we already are spreading something that negatively affects other people—or ourselves for this matter. Last year, a number of college admissions officers browsed the Facebook accounts of the applicants, and the chances of 30 percent of them were negatively affected. This might seem humorous, but it has serious implications. Try to apply the granny rule. Teach your kids never to post anything they would be ashamed to show their grandparents. Give your kids a heads up on the possibility that they may incriminate themselves because of their careless use of social media.
We have to accept the fact that technology is not just about the latest gadgets we see on stores; it is a lifestyle. Given that, we have to learn how to use it the proper way. And this does not only apply to us. It is applicable to all, especially our children. We have the obligation to safeguard them from all sorts of harm, including those that are from social media.