In the world of social media, children often have the difficulty in evaluating what is acceptable both online and offline. Due to this blur in judgement, they often post anything that comes to mind or they think is funny without stopping to think first before posting. While it could be argued that online behavior should match offline behavior, these are uniquely different from one another for several reasons. First, the size of the audience is usually much larger online. Second, the potential to violate privacy is easier to do online, and the last is the tone or intent is often unknown online.
Let us take a look at a few basic rules for children â€“ as well as adults â€“ to follow when posting on social media sites:
- Refrain from divulging information which indicates personal information such as name, address, location, etc.
- Refrain from usingÂ foul language, bad behavior, or anything immoral
- Refrain from posting a picture or video containing anyone that has not given permission to do so
- Refrain from taking and uploading embarrassing videos of themselves or others regardless if the other person approves
- Tell them to pretend their grandparent or an angel is sitting on their shoulder watching everything they post and to only post something they would approve of
- Share with them some stories of people who posted what they thought was a funny post but ended up hurting someoneâ€™s feelings or resulted in a consequence
These suggestions are a basic start, but regardless of how many rules you implement, adult supervision is required at all times. Read our article on how to effectively monitor your childâ€™s behavior for more tips.