Policies for Children and Social Media

From Simplicity in the Suburbs: What are your policies?

I’ve written before about our unending conversations about social media. And honestly it merits a lot of discussion. New apps and social networking programs are coming out all the time and because many times kids are quicker at picking these things up than us adults it’s easy to be in the dark. I hear a lot of parents concerned about their kids seeing or finding porn via the computer or other portable electronics {think iPod, iPad, kindles…} and while that is a concern, there are so many blocking and filtering programs to help in that department. {We use parental controls through Apple and also have the Mobicip browser installed on our kids devices that we can monitor and allow/disallow certain sites, apps and videos based on each child. Highly recommend.}

Honestly, I worry a lot about social media. I think that there are a lot of ways for kids to get into trouble that leave parents completely in the dark. There is no “filter” or block when it comes to messaging and apps that kids communicate on besides not allowing them at all and I don’t necessarily think that’s a healthy or worthwhile option because as far as I can tell social media isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. I feel strongly that banning social media is a recipe for disaster later on.

Kids {tweens and up} need to learn how to use it now while their parents can help guide and instruct them versus blindly later or in secret because their parents don’t want them on it. So this is my confession that we pretty much stalk our kids. M, especially because T is kind of ‘over’ the whole Facebook, Instagram craze but with M and her peer group and the friends she’s closest to, Instagram is all the rage. {As is SnapChat, Tango and KIK, all of which are programs we’ve shut down.}

But the kids know that we have full access to their phones anytime, anywhere. We expect to know what is on their phones and any one that they are “following” or is their “follower” needs to be someone that they actually know. Not a friend of a friend of a friend’s cousin. And no that’s not a joke.

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  • Hello Scot.

    I think that on the Internet, the greatest danger is emotional bullying and cyber-mobbing.

    Ever since I’ve begun to blog I have experienced bullying from many perspectives and know I am not all alone in that case.

    On the other hand I’m convinced that the web gives us a wonderful opportunity to learn loving our foes.

    Friendly greetings from Europe.

    Lothars Sohn – Lothar’s son