My parents are conservative Irish Catholics that never brought up the tough conversations about sex and drugs – though I imagine it would have gone something like: “You’re never to use drugs, and you can have sex when you’re married…” Conversation complete. The author of this article argues that a third conversation of equal importance must be had with your child – responsible usage of social media.
I don’t have kids of my own but I have 7 nieces and nephews that are tech savvy and can use an iPad more efficiently than me. They are all great kids – but kids are curious and ask a lot of questions and I’m terrified what they might be looking at on the internet when mom and dad aren’t home. I’m terrified that at some point in their childhood, some kid is going to test their morality and put them in a position to do permanent damage to their reputation. The author came up with a solid list that highlights the major talking points that she thinks need to be discussed with a child regarding social media. Her points are summarized as:
- Everything you say or do on social media will reflect on you as a person
- Facebook can be a powerful force for hurting feelings
- Imagine that all your posts are going to be read by your parents…would you still post them?
- The more important something is to say – the more important is shouldn’t be said over a computer
- “Sexting” is never, NEVER ok!
It’s hard to convince a child or teenager that their actions might prevent them from getting into college – or prevent them from getting a job someday. But the truth is that anything posted on the internet will follow them forever. The author points out that the first decade of the 21st century is defined by the birth of social media and reminds us that “The Internet isn’t written in pencil… it’s written in ink.”
My Questions to the class:
How important would you rate the conversation that a parent should have with their kids about social media, when compared to sex and drugs?
Which conversation do you think parents need to have first?