• 5 To-Do’s When Allowing your Student to Join Social Media

    • Matt Gibney
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    • October 4, 2017
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    • 0
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    5 To-Do’s When Allowing your Student to Join Social Media

    by | Oct 4, 2017 | Parents of Students, Student Volunteer | 0 comments

    SOCIAL MEDIA is on the rise. You can go to your local coffee shop, mall, or hangout spot and see more people with their phone in front of them staring at a screen then people having conversations with one another. Studies have shown that students who have social media accounts access their favorite account more than 11 times a day. At some point, if you are a parent of a student who has a cell phone, you will be approached with the request by your student to create a social media account. As a parent, just as you would train up your child to be a passionate Christ follower in the real world, you MUST train your student in the online world as well.

    Here are 5 To-Do’s when it comes to allowing your student to join social media:

    1. Establish Rules // You can start out by regulating which apps your student is and is not allowed to download onto their phone. Make sure that your student knows when this app is allowed to be accessed, what is allowed to be posted and viewed, and what the consequences are if these rules are broken. It is not overkill for you to set up the account for your student so that you know what the log in credentials are for further monitoring of the app. It is also INCREDIBLY IMPORTANT to know the guidelines that the social platform has itself- for instance, Facebook only allows users who are over the age of 13. Make sure that the rules are not only firmly established, but upheld as well.
    2.  Check Privacy Settings // When you allow your student to make a social media account, wether its Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, or Twitter, make sure that their account is a “private” account. This setting makes it so that a different user on the social media platform has to request to follow your student. This feature ensures that there is an extra step involved with the process of who can follow or friend your student, and allows for better monitoring of the account overall.
    3. Monitor Use // There is absolutely NO REASON to “establish rules” or “check privacy settings” if you are not going to regularly monitor your student’s accounts. Guidelines are great to have in place, but if there is no accountability taking place then there is no point. I suggest that you have a weekly time set aside to log on and check your student’s activity on social media. Check the content they are posting and liking, check the times that they are posting and liking, and DO NOT be afraid to confront your student. They should know the rules and consequences- it’s up to you to hold up your end of the deal. Parents cannot afford to take an out-of-sight, out-of-mind approach to this!
    4. Be Social Savvy // I highly suggest that you have your own social media account for every social media account that your student has. That way you know how to navigate through the platform yourself, which provides you the knowledge to pass on to your student, and I think we can all agree that we would like to be the ones who are teaching our students how to use social media- we don’t want them to learn it themselves.
    5. Set the Example Yourself // This is a HUGE point that I want you to take very seriously. Know that if your student has a social media account, that they see every comment you post, every post that you like, and every update that you make. This means that they see every argument you get into, every controversial post that you “like”, and every account that you follow. It is UP TO YOU to set the example. Hypocrisy will not fly with your student. If you give them certain guidelines, follow them yourself.

    We know that the thought of your student having a social media account can be scary, but we hope that this post can help ease a little of that fear.