Why Should Parents Monitor Social Media of Their Teens?
Do you know what your kid is doing all the time with that smartphone you gave him? Many parents either don’t think about it or they feel helpless in this case. Kids are very secretive these days and as soon as you try to step on the boundary, they take ten steps behind. This is what scares most of the parents that their kids won’t trust them anymore or they would be dragged away from them if they try to sneak into their privacy.
But the bottom line is that they are kids after all. Do you think they know better for themselves than you? They might think that they know every corner of social media dealing with every sort of issue, but in the end, they won’t foresee the dangers coming in as you can. And when they get themselves in the trouble, it is you who would regret this later. There is a dire need to monitor social media of teens to guide them well and keep them protected.
Why Should Parents Monitor Social Media of Teens?
An average teen spends eight hours a day on social media, which is a fairly long part of their day. When you do something for eight hours a day, it doesn’t count as entertainment or habit, it has serious impacts on your mental and physical health. It is very important to set some ground rules before giving them the whole world of social media in their hands. Discussions about digital safety should be a part of your regular conversations.
Being online can prove to be developmentally better for your teen. Several online activities bring pleasure, satisfaction, and happiness. There are online discussions that can lead to civility and better understanding. Meaningful relationships can develop belongingness. When they are accepted by others through the social media platform, it builds their self-esteem and confidence. Social media communications can help develop understanding, cognitive skills, critical thinking, and much more.
But, at the same time, excessive use of social media can make one addicted. The more you use, the more you get addicted to it. Teens get used to chatting all the time, wait for their comments, and check their notifications from time to time. They also tend to post things that are rather dangerous for them in the future.
Dangerous Online Behaviors
On social media, there are chat rooms, forums, and instant messaging platforms where teens can get involved in inappropriate behaviors. On such forums, online predators are found who sound nice and kind, they pose a great image, they become responsive to the emotions of teens, and then make them do inappropriate things. This is a common practice over social media. These predators look for innocent kids, get them to share personal things, and then later use those things to blackmail them. The worst part is that teens don’t even realize what is happening to them until it hits them hard.
Another reason to monitor social media of teens is to guide them well about cyberbullying. This comes as a surprise to the teens when they don’t know a thing about it. Cyberbullying includes name-calling, rumors, spreading false gossips, circulating inappropriate pictures, etc.
Teens are more prone to this type of behavior because of their impulsive nature. They pick up fights at school and then take to social media which seems easy to them. Research showed that cyberbullying on social media platforms occurs in 23% of the cases. Common platforms famous for cyberbullying are Facebook, blogs, and message boards. The anonymity of online activities makes cyberbullying a more intense and easy way.
Cyberbullying affects a teen in several ways; it hurts their security and safety. Moreover, it can hurt their feelings, induce depression, anxiety, anger, inability to trust someone, avoidance of social relationships, low self-esteem, poor academic performances, and worse it can cause them to bully others. Some kids are affected by cyberbullying so hard that they choose the wrong ways to deal with it. Sometimes, they do self-harming acts to get rid of the embarrassment and humiliation they face.
If we talk about grave dangerous behaviors online, sexting has also a strong role to play. Teens get very excited about making new relationships when they get on board on social media. These relationships sound so glittery and comforting that they soon get completely absorbed.
Sexting is a by-product of such relationships. Since it is on social media, kids send each other inappropriate photos and videos to take their relationship to another level. Little do they know that these are not real relationships and they are about to end soon. But the worst part is that the stuff they sent to each other remains there and can be used against them in the future.
How Can Parents Monitor Social Media of Teens?
If you are still confused about whether you should monitor your kids or not, weigh down both sides and think. You don’t want to hurt their privacy, but at the same time, how would you feel if you find out that your kid has become the victim of such dangers over social media? Now is the time to think about it before it is too late.
Several parental control apps in the market can help you with monitoring your kids’ phone including their social media. You can monitor their social media accounts and know if there is any danger roaming around their heads. SecureTeen is one of the best parental control apps that provides you some amazing features to take care of your kids digitally. You can also manage their screen times, monitor their chats and calls, and much more through SecureTeen.
The wise step would be to start monitoring them from the moment they are given smartphones, but if you haven’t done that, it is never too late. Talk to them, discuss the online dangers with them, and start monitoring them for their safety. Discussing things with them and getting them on board is the key to their trust in you. Earn their trust and let them speak their opinions too.