To all the teens out there who are active on social media, we have a simple message for the holidays and to close out the year. Be nicer online. You can do it.
School is on break and no doubt you’ll have more down time than normal. If you’re at all like our teens, a lot of that time will be spent online. Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, maybe even Yik Yak or Ask.fm. Texting and using messaging apps. Selfies everywhere.
You don’t have to change your behavior totally, just change it a little bit.
First, if you’re into cyberbullying, either to get laughs, or because you have a beef with someone, stop it. Don’t worry about your street cred. Think about how the person on the other end of your post or text message will feel before you send it. Do you have to post that harsh comment?
Don’t brag about your Christmas presents; be thankful for them. We’d love to see you post about how wonderful your parents and family are – or maybe post a pic of a gift you are giving to someone else.
If you use social media mainly to read other people’s posts, that’s fine, but you can also post something – a compliment or other positive message.
Are your parents’ or grandparents’ Facebook accounts a mess? Offer to help them with a header image or privacy settings. The same goes for their smartphones.
If you’re already a positive force online, do more.
Be an upstander. It’s a well known fact that most teens have witnessed plenty of cyberbullying online. Now can be the time you stop ignoring it, or worse laughing at it, and stick up for the victims. Being a positive part of the community can help.
If you make time to do any of the above, please continue in 2015. Life is hard. What you do and post online can make things a little easier for others, or a little more joyful.
Tis the season.
Contact ThirdParent any time for help and resources for monitoring child and teen internet activity.
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