Teens view social media as a way to express what they are thinking at the moment, share photos of themselves, what they are doing, connect instantly with friends…. and then move on… never fully acknowledging the permanence of what they decide to share. Statuses and photos never really disappear once they are posted online. Teens should understand that they should never post anything online that they wouldn’t want everyone they know, or someone they could meet in the future to see or read. A good rule of thumb on this is to think before you post. ..If the content is something they wouldn’t want their grandmother or their younger sibling to see. Don’t post it.
Teenagers should know that certain organizations use the sites as a resource. For example, law enforcement agencies often check out social media for more information and insight into illegal activities. Activities that teenagers tend to foolishly document. Statuses, photos and texts can help law enforcement recreate timelines, prove alibis and more. Most schools have even chose to monitor social media accounts to ensure that enrollment standards are being met. Finally, college admissions counselors have been known to gain insight, both positive and negative, into applicants by looking them up on social media. Teens should always remember that lots of organizations use these websites to their advantage, so people should only post neutral or positive events.
Cyberbullying is a growing problem among teens that use social media, and extreme cases of bullying have contributed to a series of mental illness and teen suicide. Cyber bullying is the use of electronic communication to bully a person, typically by sending messages of an intimidating, demeaning or threatening nature. Most teens report that they have witnessed cyberbullying, been a victim, or have been an aggressor. In order to use social media responsibly, teens should have a clear understanding of what cyberbullying looks like, But most importantly the effects that it can have on a person.
The internet has the ability of bringing out the ugliest in people. The distance between the users and lack of physical interaction often makes people feel brash, brazen and invincible. Even when the aggressor may know the victim in real life. Sites such as twitter make assaults very public and incredibly easy for people to join in on. You can comment to spread hate, a favorite to publicly agree with the hate being dished out, and retweet…so that the situation can be