Social Media Information

Social Media Tips and Tricks
For both parents and students

Parenting teens as they begin to enter the world of social media can be a scary and intimidating ordeal. There are many arguments as to why teens should and should not have access to social media. Some experts like Dr. Yolanda Reid Chassiakos, Pamela Wisniewski, and many others argue that social media can be an excellent tool for teens to be exposed to new ideas, find supportive communities, begin networking, and many other beneficial positives. They also state, however, that parents should be actively involved in discussions with teens about their values and how to appropriately navigate social media. 

ReThink App
One of the first recommendations that most often comes up in articles is to use the app called ReThink. This app was created by a 15-year-old girl designed to both temporarily block contacts such as exes or ask you to re-think certain posts if they might be considered cyberbullying. 

Know your friends, contacts, and followers. 
These are the people who can see, share and comment on what you post so you want to be sure you can trust them. Block and report anyone who makes harassing, threatening, or inappropriate comments. 

Keep in mind that what you post even in high school can affect your job marketability. Do not post things that may hinder your ability to get into college or get that job you want. Make sure your accounts are private but do not be fooled and believe that just because your account is private that colleges and businesses cannot see what has been posted. Not all posts are hidden and there are other ways to see what is on your profile. 

Talk to your friends and family about what's ok to post. 
This may not be a comfortable conversation but you should always communicate with those who are close to you. Agree with your friends that you won't post embarrassing or hurtful comments or images of each other. Be clear that you'll delete - or if needed, report - any posts that are inappropriate, illegal, or threatening or could get you in trouble. 

Make sure you check your own comments and images to ensure you are not posting anything inappropriate or illegal, like threats, nudity, alcohol, or drugs. 

Keep an Eye on 3rd Party Apps. 
Some 3rd party apps are great like ReThink, however, there are some apps that will give companies access to your personal information. Always read the fine print before deciding to add one. 

Being Mobile. 
Be careful when using your cell phone to access social media. Location services, timestamps, and other things can help others to find your exact location. Turning off location services is always a good idea though that can disable other apps such as GPS. Its always best to do your social media posts when you are in a safe place such as your home. Try to avoid posting to social media while on vacation, it is always best to save your pictures and post vacation photos when you return so that no one knows exactly where you are or how long you might be gone. 

Remember the Positives.
Social Media is one of the best places to network, be exposed to new ideas, and become a member of supportive communities within your interests. Most jobs today are gotten through networking and social media. Social media can be a great tool to showcase your community involvement, skills, or just keep in contact with friends and family. It can be used as a marketing tool and is being utilized more and more as a way to share and gain information such as local events as well as help recognize achievements. 

Sources and other helpful links.