Who Should Be in Charge of Social Media?
We know social media is a thriving community for creatives, but it’s become a place for bullying and toxicity too. High school kids are using it to share belittling messages and it’s often the first thing they see in the morning and last message before they sleep. Home is no longer a safe space.
It’s also widely used for spreading easily digested and shareable news, no matter the truth it’s based on. It’s incredibly simple for someone to make something up and share it. Before you know it, there are protests arguing its truth.
In an ideal world, social media would be a place to connect with positivity, fresh ideas, and sharing knowledge to create a more educated society. However, who decides what is true news and what are the ‘fresh ideas’?
The world is so used to being attached to their phones and always plugged into the evolving zeitgeist that even if there was more moderation and removal of harmful content, a new platform would pop up.
Social media is a reflection of the world around us. It has to be up to us as parents, productive people, and individuals who want society to be a kind, welcoming place where we can express ourselves without being scared of angry trolls and misinformed engagement-driven news.
Just as we do for the schoolyard, we need to show the bullies that it’s not ok. Every platform has Report, Block, or Ignore features. Just as we were encouraged to tell the teacher, we can report or simply silence the outlets for the bored or destructive users among us.
There is no point in ‘feeding the trolls’, replying to, or reacting to people who invoked the opportunity to be anonymous and choose to spend time bringing others down. The only option we have, as parents is to learn and share a few best practices for using social media. It’s always going to be a part of our lives, and the lives of our kids, so let’s make the most of it.
The 3 Golden Rules For Keeping (Your Kids) Out of Trouble on Social
- Act as though everything on social media or posted to the internet is permanent.
- Nothing is anonymous. It’s much easier than you think to find a person from their posts, comments, or profile.
- What you say online can get back to you, your family, your school or your employer.
How to Make Social Media a Positive Experience
To end on a more positive note, here are a few tips to make sure your social media feed is filled with posts that lift you up and improve your day.
- Follow content creators who share useful tips, beautiful art, or share their inspiration.
- Mute or unfollow people (yes, even people you know) who’s posts don’t add anything good to your day.
- Report and Block anyone who is inappropriate, creepy, or rude. You don’t need that in your life.
- Take time away. It’s ok to not check in every few minutes or even daily.
- Don’t bring social to bed with you. I know it’s tempting, but charge your phone in the other room while you sleep.