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Why You Should Talk To Your Kids About Social Media

Why You Should Talk To Your Kids About Social Media

We never think a crime can happen to us, until it actually does. While sometimes unfortunate things do happen unexpectedly, it is important to be equipped with the knowledge and skills for personal safety and crime prevention. Having a personal safety strategy in place and knowing the techniques and tactics you can use to avoid becoming an easy victim can help you live smarter and be safer. NRA's Refuse To Be A Victim® program teaches the tips and techniques you need to be alerted to dangerous situations and to avoid becoming a victim...

Your children are growing up during a time where technology is easily accessible. They will be exposed to technology, the internet, and social media earlier than you may realize (i.e. my 6 year old cousin knows how to use an iPad better than I do). 

While the technological advancements we’ve seen in our lives create amazing opportunities for our children, there also comes risk.

Social media will likely (if not already is) a major part of your child’s life. And I’m not just talking about your teen in high school... Kids in middle school and even late elementary school are jumping on board and it is your responsibility to make sure they stay safe online.

Now, most social media sites won’t let users create a profile until they are at least 13 years of age. However, that doesn’t mean your child can’t lie about their age or create a fake account. It’s important to talk to your children to see if/what social media sites they use, why they should be cautious on social media, and how to stay safe.

Nothing is private online...

This may be a difficult concept for your child to comprehend. Yes, there are privacy settings on social media profiles, but once information is out there, it’s out there. Their posts can be copied and a screenshot can be taken and shared with other people. Even after they delete a post, it doesn’t necessarily go away.

Cyberbullying is a real thing...

The internet and social media make it easy for people to hide behind. Sometimes there is an element of anonymity, and with that gives people a sense of confidence that they can say and do whatever they want without any repercussions. This can lead to cyberbullying – and is something that you and your children should be aware of and discuss. While the consequences may not be immediate, it is possible their actions can cause a lot of damage. Talking to your child about cyberbullying will hopefully help them avoid being a victim of it, and prevent them from being one.

Being “active” on social media can take up a lot of time and energy...

Unfortunately, your child may feel societal pressures on social media. They post a picture or a status and wonder why they haven’t received a certain amount of comments or likes. Your child needs to understand that while social media is a great way to connect with friends, it is not a determination of their self-worth and should not consume their life. (Maybe throw in something about the youth programs we offer?)

If your child can create a fake profile, so can everyone else...

While social media sites are ideal for personalization and expression, they also come with a sense of ambiguity. You never truly know who someone is online unless you know them in person. Your child should be cautious of what “friends” they accept or follow on their social media sites.

Criminals have social media too...

Privacy online is not real. Criminals who have access to your child’s profile can see their name, photos, interests, locations, and schools. Your child’s innocent profile about themselves could actually give a criminal everything they need to know. Be aware of this and be cautious about the type of information they put online.

Social media is a amazing tool when used appropriately and safely. Look out next week for Tips on Social Media Safety!

Tips brought to you by NRA’s Refuse To Be A Victim® program. For more information and to find a seminar near you, visit rtbav.nra.org or email refuse@nrahq.org



 

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