Teens & the Effects of Social Media

There are over 700 Million people on FB. 
The average 8th Grader has 350 “friends.” 
FaceBook & Twitter are the two leading venues for Social media today. Let’s focus on the effects of Facebook (FB).  FB policy states that the age requirement for a facebook profile is thirteen years old. Those users under the age of thirteen are lying about their age.
 There are pros & cons that come with allowing teenagers on FB. Let’s consider the pros for a moment.
a. You can monitor who your teen’s interaction & relationships on FB.
b. Your teenagers can keep up with friends & fam that they dont normally have the opportunity to see.
c. Your teen can keep up with the latest information regarding teams, organizations, social groups, & friends.
d. Your teen can foster relationships with mentors, leaders, & other people they may not otherwise have
the opportunity to interact with.
Now for the Cons…(shocking, there could be CONS to online activity-whaaaaaat? I know.)
a. Online activity is addictive. FB can be a time vacuum…SUCKER, SUCKER, SUCKER! Recent studies reveal that teenagers check their FB newsfeed TEN times a day.
b. If you haven’t noticed, the teenage years are marked by a general lack of judgement. (IMPOSSIBLE!!! I know, your angel is exempt) This often shows itself as inappropriate updates, postings, & photos. (& yes, I see the what your teen & adult-o-lescent is posting on there)
c. It can take a lot of time for a parent to monitor their teen’s FB activity every day.
d. Teens may feel left out of real life social activities that their friends are posting on FB.
Im sure some of you have looked at what a wonderful time your friends are having in their FB photos & thought, “Wow, wish I would have been invited.” Or, “Why didn’t they think of me?” Yep. Happens to me & it’s sad!
Life Coach Jenny’s Four FB Rules for Parents & Teens
Rule #1 Set a time constraint for online activity.
 How does your teen’s FB time measure up to time spent in valuable activities such as
reading, sports, studying, working, saving money, spending time with real-life friends, or serving others?
Rule #2 If your teen is on FB then YOU MUST be on FB.
As a youth director & then youth leader now of many years, I’ve always read most of the FB postings of the youth & young adults I am involved with. This gives me insight into what they REALLY think & do each day & how I can better serve, challenge, & engage them.
Rule #3: You must have your teen’s password.
One of the dangers of FB is that as a “Friend” of your teen on FB, you do not have any control over who sends messages to your child. OR what your child sends to any of the 700 Million FB users. So as a parent you can monitor this by requiring that you know your teens password. Or if & when they post something crazy, you can help them delete that. Yes they will adore you for this. But you are PAYING for their internet & probably their internet device, as well as everything else in their life. You aren’t simply their “friend,” you are their PARENT.
Rule #4: Require the strictest profile settings so that only their friends can view their activity.
It is very difficult to control who tags your child in photos. When they are tagged in their friend’s photos,
all of their friends & friends of friends can view that photo. If your child has 100 FB friends & your child’s security settings are set to viewable by “friends of friends” which many are, & each of their 100 friends has 100 friends, then your child’s photo can be viewed by 10,000 people. Lovely huh?
A spokesman for the police’s Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre said:
Where children go, sex offenders will follow. The first step is getting parents to acknowledge and understand that risk.”
According to a TrustE Study in 2010 68% of teens surveyed accepted friend requests from people they did not know.
Here are 3 tips for helping your family:
1st, Place your computer in a central location in the home. This will allow you to keep an eye on the content your child is viewing & discourage them from viewing content that may be inappropriate.
2nd, Do not buy your teen a smartphone. Teens do not need access to the internet 24 hours a day.
3rd, Do not let your child “sleep” with the computer or smartphone in their room. Many parents have found that while they thought their children were sleeping they were actually surfing the web (another SHOCKER).
Here is one great alternative to FB…Blogging! Through blogging teens can learn to write, form structured paragraphs, learn better grammar, & how to present themselves more appropriately on the internet. Blogging is a creative outlet & is much easier to monitor than FB. We can encourage teens to write about their positive experiences & how they can impact the world.

Now let’s go change the world.

Professional Life Coach, Jenny Fox Shain, M.A.

Life Coach to Visionary & Creative People

See my other sites at

Life Coaching  http://redeemingdreams.com/

Join me as a FAN on FACEBOOK! https://www.facebook.com/lifecoachjenny

(Artistic) http://pummeledbyadoringfans.wordpress.com/

Follow me on http://twitter.com/#!/Jenny_Shain

& LinkedIn

published on https://lifecoachjenny.wordpress.com


About LifeCoach

I love Life Coaching, Creating, Re-purposing, & I love photography - people actually pay me to do this! :) Check out http://RedeemingyourDreams.com/
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