HDC Students

Teens, Parents, and Social Media

I’m not from here; I am from a small Swedish village 30 minutes south of Fresno. Before I ever walked the grounds of High Desert Church I knew all about it, I knew all the sermon series HDC had gone through since 2010, I had heard numerous sermons, and I read every newspaper article I could get the Google machine to come up with regarding HDC. Once I spoke here, I followed any and all staff members I could find on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram and quickly became an expert at navigating the church website.

All that to say, there are a lot of places on the World Wide Web that your child is sharing their informatio. According to the Pew Research Center teens are sharing much more information about themselves than ever before.

91% post a photo of themselves, up from 79% in 2006.

71% post their school name, up from 49%.

71% post the city or town where they live, up from 61%.

53% post their email address, up from 29%.

20% post their cell phone number, up from 2%.

Practically speaking, I don’t think the best solution to combatting over-sharing on the internet is to cut your teen off from Social Media all together for the same reason that when I go on a diet I don’t cut myself off from cookies all together, I am just going to find them somewhere else and I will binge.

So What?

Have a discussion about what things you, as a parent, deem acceptable to post and what things you think may put your child in danger and tell them why you feel the way you do.

Ask them for help. Your student knows way more about social media than you do, they breathe it in hourly. Ask them what things they think you are doing wrong and why. This will encourage them to be more introspective when they use their technology.

Be their friend on the different social media sites they use. For the same reason you give a curfew, the same reason you make sure they do their homework, the same reason you want to know who they are hanging out with; you want to make sure they are making wise decisions. It’s not invading their privacy, you’re their parent, what they do is your business.

Look at their phone. Let your kid know that at some point you will be checking their phone, and you will do it as frequently and infrequently as you see fit. This encourages students to make smart decisions with their technology and will hopefully open up conversations as you see their interactions with their friends.

If you are looking for more information regarding social media and the way we should be interacting with it check out this blog the deals directly with the issue at hand. Have a good week.