Although there are many benefits of social media yet kids are also exposed to potential danger such as cyber-bullying, identity theft, cyber stalking and so on.
This actually haunts parents and since teenagers really don’t make the smartest decisions while posting on websites such as Facebook and may be using Whatsapp for all the wrong reasons. Parents have to be on their toes and make smart decisions.
What percentage of teenagers use social networking sites?
A certain study has found that about 75% of the teenagers in America have an account on a social media website. Around 8 out of 10 teenagers have a laptop or a mobile device and almost 58% teenagers have a tablet.
These numbers represent a big chunk of the teenager population who are online.
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Almost 77% of the teenage population is using Facebook. In previous years, teenagers in America were using Facebook as the only social networking site. However, now they make use of many apps such as Instagram to post pictures, Snapchat for casual moments and keep in touch through Whatsapp.
Teens and tweens actually love the variety.
Why is your teenager so addicted to social media?
It’s not only your teenager. This addiction has affected almost the whole young population. With easier access than in the 90’s, teenagers now have personal gadgets at their disposal which make them more prone to such activities.
Also, social media and Whatsapp has become a way of life and form of peer to peer communication for teenagers and unlike older generation, they can communicate without their exchanges becoming public.
Read on for helpful tips to keep your child safe online!
Tips to control social media and Whatsapp addiction in teenagers
1. Create ground rules and set a time limit
The first thing to be done while protecting your child is to make sure you have an open discussion because by the time your child is old enough to use social media websites he/she is capable of understanding and obeying rules.
You should control the device usage of your teenager. The basic step in controlling addiction is setting a time restriction for using social media and Whatsapp. If you find doing this task manually rather strenuous you can download parental control app for monitoring your teenager.
2. Encourage Real-time activities
It is important that you educate your child about the cyber world stating that reality is way different from what we observe online.
Encourage your teenager to mingle in real time groups. This can be done by signing up him/her for physical actives such as sports, dance classes, music lesson and so on.
3. Unwanted apps?
Online monitoring is essential to keep your teenager safe. Teenagers usually don’t be careful while they are posting online. It should be made sure that they
• Do not give out essential information of location through geo-tagging
• Do not share personal details such as credit card information over the internet
• Socialize with dangerous people over the internet
Apps which lack such safety measures should certainly be banned. Most recently dating app Tinder has banned usage by teenagers and the step has been welcomed by parents. Such websites should be restricted for teenagers.
4. Do not allow underage Facebooking
Facebook has an age limit of 13 to sign up. However, Facebook has no way to keep this measure in check so many underage teens bypass the restriction and use the site. Make sure your child does not have an account before the time for any social media website.
5. Keep a check on their privacy settings
Usually, teenagers don’t bother about privacy or rather don’t know how to go about the settings. You as a parent should set the restriction levels on phone’s or tab’s browser which your child uses. You can also set the privacy for third party sites too.
You may also restrict your child from posting pictures on certain social media apps where the level of privacy is low.
6. Use an internet filtering monitoring software
The best way to keep your child safe is through filtering software. However, such software apps lack the capability of keeping track of all your child’s activities.
In an online world where our children are exposed to all types of threats and due to their rebellious hormones are not willing to share information one should make use of kids monitoring software.
mSpy is such high-end end monitoring software which allows you to gain essential information such as;
o Tracking GPS location
o Going through text messages
o Monitor web browsing
o See history call logs
o View all IM social media chats including Whatsapp
o Scan multimedia files
The best part is that all this can be done without your child knowing so you can avoid any tantrums by your teenager and at the same time monitor efficiently.
Social media and Whatsapp usage by tweens have become unavoidable but what we can do as parents?
We can take enough protective measures online. Make sure you educate your child on online safety, teach him/her to use social media for the better and to be on the safer side you can always use a monitoring software to be extra cautious.