10 Social Media Safety Commandments and Social Media Contract

It is so important to ensure that your children use social media wisely and safely. We were disheartened this week to hear a local high school had experienced an altercation among a group of students after a fight started amongst them via social media. As a result of this altercation, Live 5 News asked us to share a few social media safety tips for teens and young adults. If you’re planning on gifting a new smartphone to your teen this holiday season, make sure that your family follows along with these guidelines.

  1. Talk to your kids and teens before letting them get on social media.
  2. Explain the concept of a digital footprint and that every action they take can be traced (yes, even with Snapchat’s disappearing messages).
  3. Lay ground rules from the start. If you don’t have rules in place, make them now!
  4. Have your kids sign a social media contract. You can download our social media contract at the end of this blog post.
  5. Never let your kids take their devices into their rooms at night. Have a charging station in the kitchen where all devices must stay once past a certain time each night.
  6. Reward your kids with the Wi-Fi password once homework and chores are done.
  7. Go through your kids’ phones! Read the texts they’re sending. See the photos they’re sharing. Login to the games they’re playing. See what apps they’re using. Every. Single. Day.
  8. If you see something you don’t like, explain why to your child, warn them and then take away the device if they’re not following your rules.
  9. Talk about bullying, talk about pedophiles, talk about self image … and how their online presence can truly make or break their life. Remind them often.
  10. Encourage your kids to unplug, look up and put their devices down. Model that behavior yourself and be present.

We recommend signing a social media contract with your child. This may seem unnecessary, but when abused, social media can be a dangerous place. Make sure your child knows of these dangers and plays by your rules. If you are gifting a smartphone or tablet this year, talk to the service provider about ways to block inappropriate content from your child’s devices. It’s always better to be safe than sorry.

Download our Social Media Contract here.

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