Imagining your kids joining social media? Does that scare you? Do you fear your kid’s safety on the internet? Don’t worry you’re not the only parent who feels this way. The internet and all these social media platforms can be a scary place.
But, eventually, your child is going to make a social media profile and you can’t keep them away from it forever. Instead what you can do is ensure their utmost safety as they navigate through all these social media platforms.
Whether you like it or not, whether you’re comfortable or not, social media is always going to be part of their life. With each passing your, kids at a younger and younger age are joining social media. Statistics say kids as young as 9 years old have social media accounts account.
With new platforms like TikTik that have entered the scene. Social media platforms like this have their sole focus on the younger audience and aim to get as many young users as possible. 54% of TikTok users are between the ages of 9 to 15.
Although not as high, the statistics are still quite similar to other social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram.
Kids would normally join social media at the age of 16, but in the last few years, the average age one joins social media is 13.
These statistics can be scary when you’re a parent. But panicking and banning your kid from the Internet won’t get you anywhere. Instead, it just builds an unhealthy and toxic relationship between you and your kids. Instead, you can focus on what can be done to ensure their safety on the internet.
5 Precautions to Take Before Letting your Kid Join Social Media
The internet is a scary place.
There’s no denying that. As adults, we are aware that it is filled with predators and people who don’t have the best interests.
There are creeps that lurking on all social media platforms, praying on kids. But this does not mean kids or teens should be banned from social media platforms. It means reprimand is needed towards the adults with the ill mindset preying on innocent minds.
Not vice versa. Along with that, you also need to ensure your kids know what they’re getting themselves into and are prepared to take on social media in the most healthy way. Here are some tips to help you with that.
You need to educate yourself first
In order for you to ensure your kid’s safety, you need to know the ins and outs of social media first. It takes less than five minutes to make a social media account. So, one day when you’re leisurely sitting on the couch or before bed, set up a social media account if you don’t already have one.
Look through the type of content that is posted on these platforms and the average age group of users.
This way you can clearly understand what’s safe for your kids and what’s not.
Apart from this, also check out various blogs and websites. Read up articles that speak about social media trends, statistics, and everything else to do with social media. You can find many such articles on our blog that help you ensure your kid’s safety on the internet.
Social media experts suggest that it is ideal to start having the conversation about social media and it’s pros and cons early on with kids. Kids today grow up in a highly unbalanced digital world. So the more aware and educated they are, the better.
Even if your kid is not on social media, they will still be online for school or entertainment purposes. With parents trying to avoid this conversation about social media, teens and tweens learn about Instagram, Facebook, and all these other platforms from their friends, peers, and other influencers.
Amidst all this, they end up entering into the world of social media uninformed. In order to avoid this, it is best that parents start conversations surrounding this topic with their kids.
Having set rules and limits ensures that you and your child are on the same page. For this to work out, it is important for the two of you to be on the same page. So, the best thing would be for the two of you to sit down and discuss these rules together.
Making your child feel like they’re equal in this situation will ensure a higher chance of them sticking by these rules.
Have an open discussion about which sites are safe for them to use and which aren’t.
To ensure your child does obsessively spend time on social media, you can set app limits on their phone. This way they can use certain apps only for a restricted period of time, like for one or two hours a day. You can download the SocialX app on their phone to ensures they only spend a healthy amount of time on social media and other apps.
Another good rule to have is to make sure you too have an account of these social media sites and are ‘Friends’ with your child. This does not mean you obsessively check everything they do on the internet.
You need to give them their space to grow.
It is very easy to overshare on social media. Educate your child about the dangers of oversharing on social media. Once something’s on the internet, it stays on there forever.
Even if you delete it, chances are it is all still up on the dark web.
It’s important to make them understand that their behavior on social media can have a positive or negative impact on their future opportunities. Everything from college applications to job interviews will involve an internet sweep.
So, it’s important to maintain a good social media presence.
Also, urge them to have a private account rather than a public account. Having a private social media account ensures that only the people you allow get to see your account. This way you can ensure that no personal information falls into the wrong hands.
Block adult content
Like we discussed earlier, the internet can be a scary place. There is pornographic content scattered all across the internet. There are thousands of porn websites easily available and the number is only growing. Plus there are spam porn advertisements placed on almost every website.
Your child is bound to come across them at one point or another.
You can avoid this problem by merely installing a porn blocker on their gadgets. This way they can safely access all other sites on the internet without the risk of running into porn. There are tons of porn blockers available on iOS and Android, pick any one you’d like.
Here’s a guide that can help you install a porn blocker in 4 easy steps.
When handling a topic like this, communication is key. Reprimanding children and setting strict rules will get you nowhere. Instead, it just makes them more likely to rebel.
You can ensure your kid’s utmost safety only by having an open and healthy relationship with them.