Does Your Teen Love Social Media?
With Valentine’s Day around the corner, love is in the air. You can feel it, see it and even taste it! How do you celebrate? Are you swayed by commercialism, Hallmark and peer pressure and go all-out on February 14? Or, do you celebrate just the way you want, all year long? (This is how my husband and I do it, by the way. I can’t remember the last time we went out to dinner on Valentine’s Day. We usually stay at home and cook and go out the next week.)
My husband and I will celebrate twenty-six years of marriage this year. From experience I can tell you; crushes don’t last, true love does. But it takes work for love to grow. It takes patience, negotiation, trust and time. So what about social media? How does social media fit in your teenager’s life? Are you treating it as a ‘crush’ that will go away, or do you see it as a fad? What if…what if it turns out to be real love?
Social Media, a Teenage Crush or Something More Permanent?
Let’s get to some facts first
- 9 out of 10 teenagers have used social media
- over 90% of their posts include pictures of themselves
- over 70% of teenagers mention their school
- Tumbler is the most frequented social site for teenagers
- Instagram is their most favorite social network app
- My own children’s school district started the distribution and usage of iPads in the classrooms of all their middle schools and Dell Venues in the hands of each high school student. They plan to have a Personalized Digital Learning (PDL) device in the hands of each child enrolled in their district within 2 years and that includes kids as young as 5 years old.
As a parent, you want to see your child blossom and grow, mature and explore, right? Seeing you child with their first crush is cute. But you’d be remiss if you didn’t have a talk about dating; the dangers, pleasures and pitfalls of being in love, right?
So why is it that most parents shy away from talking to their teenagers about the dangers, pleasures and pitfalls of social media? Why do so few teenagers have rules about social media usage, time and connections? Most teenagers are so enamored with social media that they fail to see the dangers and repercussions of improperly using social media.
‘Improper conduct on social media sites can ruin your teenagers’ reputation just as fast as it can in real life.’
Social media is not going to go away. In fact, social media can help your teenager get into the right school, help them get noticed to get a great internship and even scholarships can be found through the use of social media. Being social media savvy can help them land a job after college too,. It’s all in how they (and you) approach and use social media, starting now.
So, if you think social media is a teenager’s crush and will go away, I beg to differ. Take charge and have that talk. Instruct, learn facts and use social media for good. You’ll learn to love it as well.
Happy Valentine’s Day!
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