Teens dangerous use of social media – what can be done?
This week Australia’s Sunrise discussed alarming statistics on exactly what teenagers are inadvertently sharing on social media streams, including photos, phone numbers, addresses and school details – information that can lead to any number of crimes against young people and their families. In fact, just recently I’ve noticed several profiles of young acquaintances where Facebook security is wide open for the world to see, age and locations mentioned, and various posts seemingly inappropriate out of a ‘friend’ context. This too can lead to criminal activity against the user, as well as harm with regards to personal reputation which can mean the difference between winning a (dream) job or not.
There’s been yet another call for greater education on digital spaces, as well as a plea for parents to participate and be more aware and responsible when it comes to managing use of computers and time spent in the digital realm.
What action should you take?
- For ADULTS: Consider training and brushing up on social media skills. Understand what your kids are using, how they’re using it, whether security is appropriate, and whether or not what your children are putting online is appropriate for a world stage. Just because ‘their friends are doing it’, doesn’t make it right, so go with your gut if unsure. There are plenty of tutors and businesses offering individual or group training and assistance, either in person or via a service like Skype. Whether you love or loathe social media, if you have children, you pretty much have a responsibility to understand it. For more information on the type of training available, take a look HERE.
- For STUDENTS: If you are, or know of, a student who is spending a lot of time online – potentially because you/they write, blog, aim to work in PR or media, then perhaps consider a valuable extra-curricular course like Mini Media Bootcamp. A critical element within this particular six week digital/email course is ‘using social media appropriately’ so that it benefits a user’s future (rather than hinders opportunity). It’s six-weeks (at about two to three hours per week) time well-spent for not only an industry ‘heads up’, but to learn how to fully manage the host of digital resources now within easy (sometimes too easy) reach of our fingertips.
Got social media questions, or know a student 16+ interested in working in publishing or media? I’m here to help – simply CONTACT using the form.
-Sarah Blinco, director, Sugoi Media; editor TravelLiveLearn.com and Get it Magazine (Australia).