Confession time: I love social media!
It’s wonderful to watch my friends and family member’s children grow up. Most of my friends do not live close to me. We share so many details about our children’s life on Social Media, but it is important to use caution.
We are aware of the possible dangers of social media with our middle and high school children. With our younger children, the dangers can be because of our social media habits.
At the mall this weekend, I saw a little girl around 10 years old. She looked familiar. I figured out how I knew her – her mom and I are Facebook friends. We went to middle and high school together, and we work for the same school district. We were “legit” Facebook friends.
Although she was not with her mother, I recognized her from her mother’s numerous Facebook posts.
I knew her name, age, grade, what school she attends, that she is an honor roll student, and where she takes dance classes.
It was very scary and made me reconsider how I use social media.
Here are 3 tweaks to consider on social media:
1) Use a Nickname
Consider using a nickname when you refer to you child (ren) online. I use “Mini.
A child’s name is very personal. It’s the first way to establish familiarity. You can post fun facts and pictures of your children without using their name. Let’s face it, we all have social media “friends” who are not part of our everyday lives.
People who know your child personally, know their name. People who do not know your child, personally, do not need to know their name.
2) School Name
Refrain from using the name of your their school. This is not because there is a fear that someone is going to go to the school and do harm to your child.
To kids, school is their “stomping ground.” It is another way people to establish familiarity.
Remember some of our Facebook friends are friends from middle or high school. We don’t know them personally anymore. If they recognize your child, they can call them by name and establish more familiarity by using her school name.
Here’s an example”
You’re at Target. You’re looking at something on the shelf. Your child is with you. Somebody around the corner looks at your child and calls them by name and says “Aren’t you in the 2nd grade at ABC school? My daughter over right here she’s in the 3rd grade at ABC school, do you know her?” I understand we teach children not to go with strangers, but it’s just an added precaution not to give strangers information about our children.
3) Live Posting
I understand you are at the amusement park have a great time and want to show off the pictures. The pictures will still be adorable if you wait until you get home that evening to post.
A few months ago, I was at the Science Center. My friend posted a picture of his daughter at the Science Center. When I saw the picture, I looked over and saw the child. Anyone who was at the event and his Facebook friend (or friend of a friend depending on privacy settings) could have approached his daughter, called her by name and tell her that her father was in another area looking for her. In this case, it was a great reunion, but we should be careful about live posting where our children are.
What are your thoughts? Do you share personal details about your child(ren) online? How much do you share?
Thanks for stopping by!