January 18, 2017
Since its launch in 2004, Facebook has helped connect billions of people all over the world. It was designed to allow people to share, connect, and open up the world to everyone. In fact, around 1.18 billion users are active on Facebook every day. Since Facebook allowed people to connect, share and discover the world, it is still the most popular social media site/mobile app today.
However, Facebook cannot guarantee its user’s safety. It is often used as a platform for online threats and cyberbullying. Around seventeen percent (17%) of teens are contacted online by strangers, which made them feel uncomfortable. Most children would respond to friend requests because it is like earning a “badge of honor”. The more friends they have on their “Friends List”; the more popular they become.
Parenting kids today is challenging and parental guidance can make a big difference. Here are what parents need to know about Facebook.
Kids and teens use Facebook for a variety of reasons. It is primarily used to socialize or hang out with friends. Some teens use it to express themselves or explore their identities. When they are sad, Facebook is used to gain emotional support from friends. It is also a good platform for exploring interests for both academic and future professional purposes. Most young people also use Facebook to find causes which are meaningful to them. It is a good place for informal learning and developing technical skills for the future.
Facebook also has its own set of risks. Young people tend to engage in different risky behaviors online. Some of these would include sending sexually explicit private messages, joining “Hate” pages, and becoming indiscriminate with their status messages. These types of online behaviors may affect their future college or professional careers. Some universities and companies check their candidate’s social media footprints. Posting tasteless comments or starting flame war threads could damage a teen’s online reputation permanently. A teen’s friend today could become his or her future co-worker or boss.
Since our children always use Facebook, here is a parent’s guide to Facebook:
Children need our help as they navigate through their online and offline lives. It is our responsibility to encourage them to use Facebook in a positive way.
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