Top ten tips on social media, young people and parents – what do we need to talk about?

Three things happened last week that aligned so magnificently that I feel like it was meant to be.  The wonderful energetic Georgina Laming, aka @miss_laming, contacted me via Twitter DM late last week to ask me about  what young people and parents should know about social media. This conversation was at a time when I was also continuing  discussions  with Edinburgh colleagues (the gorgeous Nicola Osborne and delightful Louise O’Connelly) via Skype a few days earlier about social media, learning and our vision to generate a manifesto to support those looking to use various platforms for learning, teaching, and professional growth. All these conversations were also in parallel with a presentation I made to work colleagues about social media for academics from the perspective of profile development and use for and within research, and learning and teaching. Needless to say, social media tips across various audiences is in my space at the moment.

So this brings me back to young people and conversations that they can have with trust adults, teachers, parents and guardians about their use. I was thinking about what my top tips would be, and I came up with this list:

1. Time off social media is good. Screen down time is so beneficial for processing ideas, and being outside is just as valuable as the online world, so find a balance.

2. Think about the questions: what information am I sharing? What sites do I want to be on and for what reasons?

3. Have conversations with trusted adults/parents/guardians – these should be inquiry based / discover together how you will be online.

4. Mutual respect is a must. Treat others how you want to be treated.

5. Never give away private information about yourself or others. And support your friends to take care of them self as well.

6. Block, delete, report – feel empowered to use these actions if required.

7. Always talk with a trusted adult how and why you use social media – we all learn from one another.

8. Talk about the good/bad/ugly of social media and be real – bullying and other things we hear in the media are not all about social media, they happen through other ways as well. Know the facts. Be empowered by the correct knowledge and steps to help yourself and others if required.

9. Have a plan for what platforms you use, how you use the platforms, and who you engage with on social media.

10. Be open to learn, there are so many great resources, ideas and opportunities to be had.


What would you add to this list?


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