Last week, Officer Jeff Bean from Safe Schools 4 All, spoke at our May General PTO Meeting and discussed Social Media 101, What Parents Need to Know. According to the Pews Research Center in 2018, kids’ online activity was:
- Ages 13 – 17
- 95% have smartphones
- 85% use YouTube
- 72% use Intagram
- 69% use SnapChat
- 51% use Facebook
- 45% online “constantly”
*Today, SnapChat is the most popular app for teens. It offers a direct messaging feature and is now replacing texting among teens.
Safety Tips – Avoiding Online Predators:
- Communicate and monitor
- Use privacy settings
- Deactivate features on gaming systems (chat, audio)
- Don’t change apps or go to DM (direct message) if stranger asks
- Limit personal info kids give out
- Is your child ready for social media?
- Research the apps, use privacy settings, KNOW THEIR PASSWORDS
- Set the rules and ENFORCE them
- Monitor online activity regularly
- Trust your child until they give you a reason not to
- Talk with your kids, ask questions
- Be their parent, not their friend
He strongly recommends that parents monitor their child’s technology use. If your child has a cell phone and/or social media, parents should also be checking them regularly.
He also recommended www.commonsensemedia.org for information and tips regarding how to monitor and manage your child’s technology use. See the “Parents Need to Know” tab for detailed information regarding: cell phones, screen time, social media, privacy and online safety, apps and video games, parental controls, etc.