Things Teens SHOULD BE Doing With Social Media
Teens and social media. Those two words together can strike fear into the heart of many parents. The internet is full of scary stories when it comes to teens and social media. And, there are countless warnings regarding apps. It’s easy to get into a pattern of telling our teens all of the things they should avoid doing on social media.
It’s not bad to give our teens some guidelines when it comes to what they post on social media. But wouldn’t it be just as helpful if we shared some things teens SHOULD BE doing with social media?
With so much negativity regarding teens and social media, do you wonder what your teen should be doing with it?
The good news is there are lots of things your teens should be doing on social media that can benefit them now and in the future. And, the teen years are a perfect time for you to guide them and help them learn how to use social media as a tool for communicating.
Here Are 7 Things Teens Should Be Doing With Social Media
Is Your Teen Keeping Their Social Media Profiles Up to Date?
Make sure your teen’s “about me” descriptions are up to date. If they wrote those when they first joined social media sites, chances are they’re out of date.
Future employers and college admissions officers will be checking to make sure the information on their application lines up with what’s reflected on their social media. Keeping a profile which has a current photo, their hobbies, and interests will help maintain a consistent image.
Is Your Teen Staying Up to Date on Privacy and Security Updates?
Social media platforms push out updates often. Some of these are for newly added features. Some of the updates are for security patches or software updates. Does your teen know the difference? Teach them to read and learn when it’s wise to update an app immediately.
Hint: a security patch update is always something you want to update immediately.
Is Your Teen Communicating in Ways That Show Respect for Self and Respect for Others?
One of the biggest things your teen should be doing on social media is developing good communication skills.
This doesn’t mean we “like” or validate every post. It doesn’t mean we agree with something that goes against our values simply for the sake of “keeping the peace” online. It means that we understand how to disagree with a thought in a respectful manner. We can disagree on an issue while still showing respect to the person.
As your child ages, college representatives, potential bosses, and scholarship committees may be reviewing their social media profiles. They can gain an opinion of your teen based solely on those sites. They’ll be looking for teens who can communicate clearly. They want teens who can be team players and understand how to communicate effectively and use their voice to add value to a project while showing respect to all members on the team.
Is Your Teen Listing Their Clubs, Awards, And Accomplishments?
Your teens should be listing the social and academic clubs they join, as well as their awards and accomplishments. This can sometimes be uncomfortable for teens. They might not want to brag about themselves or seem too forward about their accomplishments.
But, as the age of technology grows, social media profiles become a lifelong portfolio of sorts. Use tools like Facebook’s “add a life event” to attach these awards and accomplishments to the date they were received or awarded. Older teens heading to college, and definitely college students, can place these on their LinkedIn account. These can help them gain scholarships, internships, and help to build out their resume over time.
This goes for clubs too. For example, if your student joined FBLA at school, make sure they add that to their social media profiles and include the office held, if any. It’s best for them to think of their social media profiles as an ongoing, live college application.
Is Your Teen Adding Photos to Show They Care About Their Community and Others?
Your teen should also be adding photos of themselves doing charity work, receiving awards, and participating in socially positive activities like community fundraisers, sports, music, or art. Encourage them to think of their social media sites as their own personal website. Their social media accounts give them the opportunity to share causes and efforts they care about and actively support.
Is Your Teen Showing Photo and Video Skills?
The ability to edit photos using even the simplest of programs available on our smartphones is important. Teachers are using digital media in the classroom. Contractors are reaching new customers using social media. It’s amazing how technology is transforming jobs we wouldn’t have imagined just a few short years ago.
Social media gives your teen the chance to learn basic photo and video editing skills in a fun way. Give them the opportunity to use some of these skills to create a family video, or a video showing a community event or a school activity.
Is Your Teen Connecting With Others So They Can Learn and Grow?
Social media literally connects us in a way unlike any other medium. We’re able to connect directly with brands, universities, and people.
Encourage your teen to follow the social media accounts of colleges they love, brands they use, and people who inspire them. Then engage! I’ve learned so much about creating videos because I’ve joined Facebook groups for brands and actively engaged. I’ve gotten feedback and helpful tips from those brands and others in the group. It’s helped me learn and grow.
Social media is a new parenting issue for parents. With that comes some natural fear. I get it. But, with anything new also comes the great opportunity to guide our kids and help establish the ethical guidelines for usage. Parents, that’s exciting!
There certainly are things we need to tell our kids to avoid on social media. But, let’s not overlook sharing Things Teens SHOULD BE Doing With Social Media.