Social Media: Parents vs Teens | Arts & Culture
The holiday season allows for teens to increase their Social Media connections with friends. Social Media
networks like; Facebook, Twitter, Youtube and others allow for exchange of all types of social information.
SM by youth and teens is their primary means of
sharing information and posting online content.
Parents should be prepared for the increase in digital
connections instead of the past traditional exchanges
with land line telephones. Wireless technologies have
allowed for unprecedented access to people and data.
Because of the easy access to online resources there
should always be open communication between
youth/teens with their parents. The distractions and
dangers of life can quickly bring tragedy and second
guessing of parental responsibilities and accountability
for young lives when there is death or injury.
Parents cannot allow Social Media to be a baby sitter for
their children just as television should not be a substitute
for parental engagement, interaction and teaching social
skills. Parents may find it difficult to start a conversation
about the use of technology and social media; start the
conversation about the inclusion of social media in a teens
life, parents should understand that their children may know
more about technology, but you, as the parent knows more
about life and survival.
This fact alone can strengthen the conversations on safety and
survival. There are growing numbers of youth and teens being
lured and seduced into prostitution, sexual torture and murdered
Technology is necessary, an important part life, the bond between
families cannot afford to be disrupted by electronic devices.
Communication is in a digital arena not verbal so Social Media,
texting and digital interaction is common with teens. This
interaction is not always sexual, but the sharing of social
information. Because of the intrusiveness of technology
parents need to set boundaries just as they would if their child
or children were at a playground.
Parents need to monitor what is being shared online, some
information may be dangerous or lead to future problems in
developing relationships or potential child stalkers becoming
friends with unguided and unmonitored youth and teens. An
important suggestion expressed by Tiffany Duhart a Social
Media expert in Jacksonville, Florida is that parents need to
monitor their children’s online presence in social networks.
Teens quickly learn how to integrate Social Media into their lives,
as Ms. Duhart shares and parents are learning that Social Media
is how this is the main medium for kids keeping in touch and
Autumn a fourth grade student in DCPS suggests keep you’re
children from fake friends. Keep them close to family so that they
can help monitor online activities. Parents should be by young kids
when the kids are online. This keeps them from talking to people
they don’t know and keeping them safe from stalkers.
As a teacher of STEM, Blogger and presenter of Social Media for
youth and teens, I’ve learned that many teens lack the appropriate
processing skills to manage their Social Media information. What
they put online can be used as a benefit when they become adults or
a hazard during the developing teen years. A quick comment a moment
of frustration and a period of anger can cause teens to post comments
that have profanity, potential slanderous statements or even threats.
Parents cannot afford to be negligent, ignorant or complacent in their
child or children’s social media activities. “Parents need to be involved
and engaged” William Jackson 2012.
Talking to high school students during Mayor Alvin Brown’s Learn2Earn
Experience at University of North Florida in the summer of 2012. Young
adults/teens are very intelligent, tech savvy, and have multi-tasking abilities.
During my 5 day presentation it was quite evident teens are intelligent,
but young adults/teens lack experience in social and social media skills
and very important mental processing skills to rationalize.
Stages of development for online behavior are a gradual process
requiring parental supervision and parental communication. Schools
cannot be responsible to totally teaching technology literacy. Canada,
France, Britain and Australia all have national media literacy standards
for students in their educational curriculums; the United States
because the educational system is decentralized does not have a
national model. Parents must be the guiding force of reason and education
outside of the school. Parents set the tone for Social Media learning,
Social Media morals and Social Media conduct.
A very important reminder anything that is put online stays online and
never goes away. Even if a student tries to delete their online content it
is backed-up on a server someplace and never goes away.
Social Media: Parents vs Teens
Parents should spend more time with their kids and teens, parental
involvement is important and contact not through the Internet or cell phones.
Talking can save your child’s life from Internet dangerous people,
stated by Autumn.
William Jackson, M.Ed.
Social Media Presenter
Consultant for Bullying,
Cyberbullying, Social Media