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Teenagers and social networking

Teenagers and social networking
Teenagers and social networking (Thinkstock photos/Getty Images)
Educate your teen to turn web into a boon.

Today, teenagers extensively use social networking sites to connect and share with their friends. The Internet has evolved as a great tool for millions across the globe. From seeking information to making life-long friends, more and more students are coming online. It is, therefore, important to educate them on how to use the Internet judiciously and stay safe online.

Teach your teens: Teens excessively use social networking to connect with friends—through chat, personal messages and sharing photos, videos, links and other kinds of information. They use these platforms to announce achievements, wish each other a happy birthday and plan social events – like going to a movie or a friend’s house.

Parents must make their children understand about the wide opportunity that lies on the web and ensure they understand the privacy settings. This can benefit and help them manage their online presence.

Parents don’t need to be social media experts in order to ask questions and begin an on-going dialogue with teens. Have conversations about safety and technology early and often. One of the best ways to begin a conversation is to ask your teens why social networking sites are important to them.

Learn from your teen: Today’s teens have grown up with the internet, cell phones and text messaging. Therefore, be on top of social media, your teenager most likely knows more about it than you do. That’s okay. Don’t be afraid to ask your child to show you the ropes!

Quick tips for parents:

It can be tough to keep up with technology. Don’t be afraid to ask your kids to explain it to you.

If you’re not already on a social networking site, consider joining. That way you’ll understand what it’s all about!
Teach your teens the online safety basics so they can keep their timeline (and other online accounts) private and safe.
Talk about technology safety just like you talk about safety while driving and playing sports.
It’s also important to talk about the golden rule: Treating others the way you want to be treated. Make sure your teens know where to go for support if someone ever harasses them. Help them understand how to make responsible and safe choices about what they post because anything they put online can be misinterpreted or taken out of context.

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