You as a parent can stay in the loop by knowing what your teens passwords to sites like myspace.com and facebook.com. These are very popular networking sites. Communication and technology has advanced so quickly from email to IM to texting and to now more digital skills and communication. Set up rules. This is your home, and you’re responsibility as a parent to have a presence in your teen’s social networking.
The advantaged of your teen using this medium to communicate is that it allows your teen to hang out with may other teens that they may have a are like minded, and they may not be able to socialize with in any other way. Protect your teens by not allowing them to give their actual address or private information. Actually, a good way for you to keep on top of this technology yourself, is to open your own myspace or facebook account. Your teen will probably not accept you as a friend, but it is a way to monitor how these online social networks communicate.
Our American culture is not going to go back to the days of snail mail, and teens using Utube and podcasting should know the ground rules from day one. You can become computer savvy yourself, and if your teen is seeing you are manipulating your way around the web more easily, they’ll understand , you are going to be monitoring their actions and social circles. We do need to encourage our teens’ skills with the advanced technology for jobs and careers that weren’t as prevalent for us as they will be for them. Allow some creativeness with your teen, but be vigilant and let them know, you must have the passwords to their sites if they want to continue social networking.
You are only protecting them in the end. Remind them that you will not allow them to post unflattering photos which could have unpleasant repercussions if they are tagged in these photos among their hundreds of friends. Being a presence in your teens life is alway annoying to them, but it is your job to protect them as best you can. Social networking can be positive, set time limits on their computer time, just as you would for yourself.
Have the computer they use in a general area, so they can be seen and not retreat to a bedroom with their own PC where you may not be able to monitor their actions.
There are many online predators, pedophiles, those who want to lure your teen into pornography by offering incredible gifts.. or subtle ways. Be on alert for any “friend” online who you feel is captivating your teens attention more then most. They could be an impostor, posing as another teen. There is wide-spread sex-trafficking happening even here in America. Warn your teens, show them articles about it… check sites online so you are up to date with information of these types of activities.