As Green Ivy founder, Ana Homayoun, writes about at length in her new book, Social Media Wellness, the online lives and “real” lives of tweens and teens are much more connected than many of them believe or realize. As a result, parents are often concerned about what their children are posting online, not to mention where they are posting it and who can view it. Ana spoke to Today.com recently about the best ways to help teens manage their online profiles so that their digital footprint represents them in the most positive and beneficial way possible.
First and foremost, parents should be aware of the apps that their children are using, or in short, “Don’t know what Snapchat is? Download it.”
A few more tips are included below, and you can also read the full article here.
Talk to your teens. Ask teens to come up with their top 5 IRL values and ask them how it matches up with their online behavior. Many teens (and adults!) don’t fully realize how their online and IRL are more intertwined than they might think. Teens are rarely asked to identify their values, and it can be a great way to start the conversation around making better choices online and IRL — does your daily behavior match your own personal values?
Monitor moods. Moods fluctuate. Teens and tweens often take their emotions to social media. Help them build awareness and find healthy coping strategies to self-regulate and de-escalate before posting. Emotional anger, combined with teen impulsivity and an underdeveloped prefrontal cortex that doesn’t always think about long-term consequences, can be a recipe for disaster. One of the best things parents can do to help teens and tweens make better choices is to plant a seed of reflection— over time, it can make a big difference.