In today’s world which consists of fast-paced life from running here and there for jobs, college, and even for everyday groceries there is a rush or everything. Technological advancement has created a way for a lifestyle that is lethargic. It has affected all generations from children to adults. Teenagers’ lives nowadays involve spending a significant amount of time on the internet on media platforms.
Social media has become an integral part of life in this modern era of technology and innovations. Our lives are completely attached and dependent on this virtual network directly or indirectly that has been growing day by day. Social media indeed allows an easy to socialize and communicate with fingers, but also comes at a price.
Teenagers at such an age are not completely able to undertake the complexity of the world and social media can be addictive largely. Parents and teachers need to be responsible adults and teach teenagers the risk associated with social media and how to be
safe on social media in a healthy manner.
1) Open Communication:
Communication is the key to every relationship, be it among couples, parents and children, or siblings. A well-balanced parenting tends to allow room for open communication in a family to bond with their children. Healthy communication about online experiences, and nature interactions with others create should be known to them. It creates a sense of trust in the parents for the child making it easier for them. It makes it easier for them to understand social media and the risk associated with it.
2) Education on Privacy:
Educate teenagers on important private information and how it is risky to share sensitive personal material on social media. By clearly mentioning the harmful effect of befriending strangers and how much info we share with them your child will learn how to keep themselves on social media.
3) Critical Thinking Skills:
A sharp thinking skill is only important for education only but it helps in dealing with everyday life problems also. By promoting critical thinking in teenagers we can help them to stay informed and sware of fake information and not to share it with them. We can help them to protect themselves and how to be responsible users.
4) Cyberbullying Awareness:
Apart from the risk associated with cybercrime, teenagers must be well prepared to know how to deal with cyberbullying. Always teach your children to be aware and share any case of online harassment. Supporting them from the beginning in this matter would help them to be better prepared for such unfortunate incidents.
5) Monitor Usage
Monitor the usage of your children, especially at the age of early adolescents of the kind of material they are browsing on the internet and social media. Watch out for inappropriate content and potential threat from users and teach them responsibility for the harms of it.
6) Setting Healthy Boundaries:
The Internet can be addictive largely for teenagers hence guiding your children about setting limits and boundaries on screen time. Excessive usage of social media is harmful to their physical and mental well-being. Creating a balance between usage na addiction is very necessary.
7) Recognizing Manipulative Behavior:
It is a most important thing to be aware of on social media, to recognize manipulative people and online predators. Teach teenagers about how to identify such persona if they ask too many personal questions or ask for pictures etc. Always teach them to not trust people they find on the Internet. In case of any suspicious behavior, encourage your child to always share with them if it is bothering them much.
8) Encourage offline socialization:
As much as it is easy for teenagers and us adults to stay in touch with people on social media, it is advisable for parents to corsage their children about socializing with people in person. Meeting with close friends and people in person is always a better option to promote socialization and safeguard our overall well-being.
9) Model Positive Behavior:
Children always tend to learn by observing others especially their parents, hence parents are the central role model for their character and personality development. This goes the same for the usage of social media. How parents habit their behaviour on social media matters to a child. Show teenagers healthy easy-to-resolve conflicts with others and make them learn and handle criticism calmly. Your positive action determines the outcome of their thoughts and behavior on social media
Some Helplines for cyberbullying, bullying, and Harassment in India:
- I call- 916 2978 7821
- Jeevan Astha Helpline, Suicide Prevention and Mental Health Counseling and Helpline- 1800 233 3330
- Snehi Helpline, Crisis intervention counseling support- 9582208181