Social Media Parenting: Raising The Digital Generation
Social media is fast becoming an established medium for communication among people of all ages. More children and teenagers today are embracing social media, which entails such sites as Facebook, Twitter and various programs that allow users to instant message each other through the computer.
Despite being in a digital age, not many parents are IT savvy.
My reason for selecting this particular topic is because I am aware of to what lengths parents go to regarding social media platforms and would like to help families build up their relationships instead of driving each other apart.
From this article, I have highlighted the following three observations-
- Have a go at social media sites to gain a better understanding of their children
- Set boundaries within reason
- Obtain balance between On-screen and Off-screen activities.
Parents should have a go at social media sites to gain a better understanding of their children.
While the new technology has done wonders in terms of communication, it has turned into a new issue that parents should be aware of in terms of keeping their children safe online. Parents are encouraged to try out social media platforms to get a feel or understand why their child enjoys using such sites. From this experience, they would be able to further understand their children’s interests and would also be able to approach them more comfortably with the topic on online behaviour. This may also be a chance to further deepen the bond between parent and child.
‘Parents need to actually sign up and take time to try out those venues adding more pressure on the parents and their time management approach in efforts to acquire greater skills and knowledge about how social media can influence their children!’
Parents should set boundaries within reason.
‘Parents are flocking to social networking sites – sometimes to monitor their kids, and sometimes for the same reason teenagers signed up: to communicate and to share.’
Parents should not take advantage of social networking sites as an alternative way of keeping tabs on their kids. Parents have started to sign up for accounts of these social networking sites (E.g. Facebook, MySpace) to monitor their child’s whereabouts.
‘He spoke of his two sons’ reactions when he requested to add them as friends on Facebook by saying “My older son did not hesitate to add me but my younger one felt as if I wanted to stalk him!” ’
Depending on how this piece of information is taken, would defer from child to child. Some would see it as an invasion into their personal online space while others would see it as another way to communicate with their parents.
‘ “It can backfire,” said Solomon. “It can embarrass the kids and their friends and create resentment.” ’
Obtain balance between On-screen and Off-screen activities
“Everything in moderation.”
Too much of internet activity will hinder a child’s education and not only that. The child may misplace his/her priorities and may bring about change in behaviour. In addition, there is also the issue of having to wear spectacles in the long run.
Nowadays, even when people walk out of the house, separating themselves from these social networking sites seems almost impossible. Advanced technology has allowed these social networking sites to be downsized into an application that can be easily downloaded and installed in the mobile phone. These applications rely on connectivity and yet they do not mind paying the extra charges for updating the world with their current statuses. This goes to show that society today has grown attached to these social media platforms.
Judging from the current situation, technology has certainly brought about a few troubles along with all its impressiveness. Lesser people are communicating with each other in person and more people are finding it harder to express their thoughts towards the person in front of them, especially in their own homes.
Yet, on the other hand, it certainly helps those who are unable to express their thoughts in reality due to certain circumstances, giving them the freedom about expressing their thoughts. People seem to be able to get hold of other people through these social networking sites if they are unable to contact them through the phone.
‘ “It’s become an easy way to interact with her, to keep her in my life,” said Julia, who is heading to Syracuse University in the fall and plans to use the site to keep in touch with mom. “It will be a lot easier than making phone calls.” ’
My suggestion is that for parents to be patient when coaching their child on online behaviour as some children may feel touchy about this subject. There are many videos or websites that provide tips with regards to parenting kids of the digital age. Here’s an example,