Social Media for Parents of Teens


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This presentation was prepared for a high school Parent Teacher Organization to inform parents of the social media apps and sites local teens are using in spring 2014. The presentation includes an overview of particular apps and sites, as well as their terms of service and appropriateness for teen users. Parents are also given tips about helping teens develop a good digital footprint and referred to resources that will help them make social media decisions for their own teens.

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  • Notice that CIPA is about school and library policies—but think about how you can apply these to the way you protect your own minor in your home…how you can adapt these to your own family’s approach to social media and Internet use
  • This is why when your teen was younger and signed up for the Disney game site, PBS Kids site, or other children’s website, you got an e-mail that verified that you knew what your child had signed up for and what information they gave to sign up.Recommend
  • You are the gatekeeper for your teen. While CIPA and COPPA are good for their purpose, they are not going to keep your teen from accessing social media sites that could be harmful to them. You are the one who is going to do that. What we talk about today, and the resources and links we collected on our website, should help you feel confident in doing that.
  • Before we dive in to talking about specific sites, let’s watch this brief video together. [watch video]On one hand, this video is funny—we can’t help but be embarrassed for everyone at the table.On the other hand, this video demonstrates the very serious way in which our teens can expose themselves (quite literally) to the world without realize that the information they put out via social media is never truly private, and never really disappears.
  • You’ve probably heard of Twitter and Facebook—and if you follow the news you’ve heard about a few other ways that students are connecting on social media. Most teens use their smartphones to access social media, which means they are using apps. We’re going to walk through a few of these apps that are being used by students in our community, and we’re going to talk about the appropriateness of each of these apps for teens. We live in a connected world, and it is important that we as parents know what our teens and tweens have access to.
  • A quick overview of how the information on these slides are organized.Note: The age that appears in the top is the age the apps Terms of Service recommend—NOT the age recommended by me or your media specialists
  • does have privacy settings. But they are ineffective and do not prevent the type of posts and behavior you see in the screen capture above.
  • I am a grown woman, presenting to a room full of adults—and I was uncomfortable placing a screenshot of the Yik Yak feed on this slide. That should give you an indication of the type of posts that are on Yik Yak. Instead of a screen shot of a Yik Yak chat feed, I included a screen shot of the first ten results that pop up in a Google News search about Yik Yak. Obviously, this is not a place you want your teens to “hang out.”
  • The biggest issue with Snapchat stems from the advertisement of Snapchat as a safe place to share things on social media because they “disappear.” My guess is that is why the two guys in the picture above were willing to let someone snap a photo of a situation that should not have happened anyway, judging by their surroundings. Nothing on social media disappears. Ever. Talk to your kids about this stuff. I showed my twelve-year-old the photos above and asked him how he would feel if his 80-some year old grandmother (who checks her e-mail, Facebook, and online news every day) would feel if she came across this posted on the Internet—and it was on the Internet…not on Snapchat!
  • IF this is something you let your 17+ teen use, encourage them to create a unique, hard-to-find user name.One setting that may make this an app to look at for older, very mature and responsible, teens of 17+:Ignore New PeopleThe 'Ignore New People' feature allows you to hide messages you receive from people you've never talked to before, and turns off notifications for those messages. If you don't want to see inbound messages from people you don't know, you don't have to.
  • There is an option for a private Tumblr blog—but you and your teen will have to create a public account first to then create a private account. Even with a private account—your teen could be exposed to pictures that are racy, raunchy, or just plain pornographic. This may not be how it “should be” on the web, but it is important that we know what our children will encounter.
  • For links to resources and tutorials that will help you block Tumblr and other content, please visit the resources website {handout??}
  • …educational information by searching a particular hashtag or author, for example
  • Talk to your teen about what they plan to share on InstagramHelp your teen set their posts to private so that anyone who wants to see their posts must send a follower requestShow your teen how to block users who they do not want to view their photos or videosShow your teen the built-in reporting features they can use to report inappropriate content
  • This screenshot doesn’t represent the worst or (obviously) the best of Facebook, but it does show you one of the biggest problems surrounding Facebook privacy settings…
  • Social Media for Parents of Teens

    1. 1. Social Media An informational class for parents of teens and tweens. March 18, 2014 Bradwell Institute Hinesville, GA
    2. 2. What we’ll cover today:  Introduction  Overview of Laws that Affect Social Media Use  Sites Local Teens are Using  Your Role in Keeping Your Teen Safe  Talking to Your Teen About Their Digital Footprint  Resources for Keeping You & Your Teen Informed
    3. 3. CIPA & COPPA CIPA Children’s Internet Protection Act COPPA Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act
    4. 4. CIPA CIPA requires school and libraries receiving E-rate funding for Internet access to adopt an internet safety policy that addresses:  Safety and Security of minors using e-mail and other forms of direct electronic communication  Unauthorized access or unlawful activity by minors online  Unauthorized disclosure, use and dissemination of the personal information of minors  Measures to restrict minors’ access to material harmful to minors  Education for minors about appropriate online behavior
    5. 5. COPPA Websites that collect information from children under the age of thirteen are required to comply with the Federal Trade Commission Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act. COPPA applies to websites and apps that are directed to children under 13. Most of the apps we’ll talk about are intended for 13+ or 17+.
    6. 6. Trust Your Good Sense, Parents
    7. 7. Your Good Sense  [insert 0:30 Family Dinner video here—or go to link]
    8. 8. Specific Sites Popular with Local Teens The sites we’ll cover today are used by teens in this school. The purpose of showing you these sites is not to scare you, but to inform you, so that you can make the call whether these sites are appropriate for your teen.
    9. 9. Smart Phone Apps
    10. 10. Name of app  How the app works  Special features and additional information  Issues or concerns Screenshot or Example
    11. 11.  users ask questions and answer questions posted by other—anonymous—users.  users have the option of recording themselves with a webcam to answer a question.  Bullying is a major concern. In 2013, ten teen suicides were directly linked to bullying on
    12. 12. Yik Yak  Yik Yak users may send comments anonymously.  Those who see the comments don’t have to have an account; they only have to be logged on.  Yik Yak uses location services to bring comments to a user’s feed from other users nearby.  Bullying is a major concern with Yik Yak, which has specifically been a platform for racist bullying and violent threats at a number of high schools and colleges.
    13. 13. Snapchat  Snapchat has major privacy issues. Contrary to Snapchat’s FAQs statement that “snaps disappear after the timer runs out,” snaps can be saved via screen capture or through a built-in retrievability code.  Teens don’t initially go to Snapchat to sext or bully, they go to socialize in an online environment that seems “safer” because they think the data they share disappears.  There are numerous ways to “screen capture” a Snapchat photo. Once you send your photo digitally, you lose control of it. Snapchat advertises itself as an app that lets you send media to your friends that will get deleted automatically.
    14. 14. Apps to Hide Apps  There are a number of apps that “hide” pictures, folders, and other apps.  Can you tell which of these icons represents my Secret Folder?  Don’t be afraid to investigate what is in your teen’s folders.  Don’t be afraid to talk to your teen about which apps they are using and who they connect with on them.  And, don’t be afraid to reset or take away your teen’s access if they are putting themselves in danger.
    15. 15. kik  Kik Messenger is an app-based alternative to standard texting as well as a social networking app for smartphones.  Kik should only be used by teens who can discern the difference between texting people individually, with groups, and within a social networking environment.  This tool is for older teens and adults who will use it to communicate with family and friends, and who will not give out personal information to Kik users they don't know.  Teens will need close guidance on safety and privacy if they're going to use it.
    16. 16. Tumblr Search results for #Divergent Search results for #Hinesville These represent things a typical teen may search for on Tumblr—and the results may include things you either don’t want your teen exposed to or that you at least want to be aware your teen is being exposed to.
    17. 17. Privacy & Safety Strategies for Tumblr  Tumblr is a blog format that allows users to combine text, videos, photos, and audio clips.  Tumblr relies on users to identify material they upload as NSFW (not safe for work) or innappropriate.  If your think your mature and responsible teen is ready for Tumblr, talk with them and monitor the content they post.  Talk to your teen about the content they could be exposed to on Tumblr and make clear what they should do if they discover inappropriate content.  If you are not comfortable with your teen using Tumblr, block it until you think they are ready.
    18. 18. Twitter  Twitter is a free "microblogging" and social networking site that allows users to post 140-character messages called “tweets.”  Users can keep their tweets private and approve individual followers. This is a potentially good way for teens to “get their feet wet” in social media.  Twitter is increasingly being used as a promotional tool for products and celebrities so limit your teen’s exposure to ads by keeping their Twitter circle among real friends.  Users can choose to post their location along with each Tweet—not a great idea for teens.  If your teen is ready for social media, Twitter can be used as an education tool as well as a social networking tool.
    19. 19. Instagram  Instagram is a photo and video sharing social networking service.  If your teen is ready for Instagram, go through the privacy settings together and talk about what is (and is not) appropriate to share on social media.  Search results for graphic terms can include graphic pictures.  Instagram does have built in features to report inappropriate content, but your teen cannot “unsee” what they have seen.
    20. 20. Facebook  Facebook is an online social network on which users can share status updates, pictures, and video.  Facebook updates its features frequently, which can change privacy settings—so if your teen is ready for Facebook, regularly check their privacy settings.  If your teen is ready for Facebook, check regularly to ensure they are “Friends” with only people they know in real life.
    21. 21. Trust Your Good Sense, Parents
    22. 22. Danger Zone Avoid social media tools and apps that allow users to avoid responsibility for what they post, or that promise what you post is “anonymous” or will “disappear.” Nothing on the Internet disappears, or is truly private.
    23. 23. Proceed with Caution • Talk to your teen about the types of social media you are comfortable with them trying. • Investigate and set the privacy settings together. • Check regularly to ensure your teen is making good decisions and is online friends only with people they actually know.
    24. 24. Only you can give the Green Light You know your teen best. It is up to you to decide whether they are ready for social media at all.
    25. 25. Restricting Access
    26. 26. Your Teen’s Digital Footprint Nothing ever truly disappears in the digital world, and everything you post on social media shapes people's impression of you. The impression that you give on social media and the Internet is often called your Digital Footprint.

What impression are you giving? Are you happy with your Digital Footprint? And, if you aren't, what can you do to change it?
    27. 27. Discovering Your Teen’s Digital Footprint  Use a search engine like Google or Yahoo to search your teen’s name and username(s).  Use a site like Spokeo or PeekYou to review what information is publicly available about your teen.  Review the apps your teen uses on their smartphone and the computer and talk about what information they gave to sign up for each account.  Look at what your teen posts, blogs, and shares on the Internet (even the information they share “privately” can easily become public).  Talk about how what they posts is viewed by others and how it could affect them if it is seen by a college admissions office, military recruiter, or hiring manager.
    28. 28. Building Your Teen’s Digital Footprint  Talk with your teen about how everything they do online combines to create their Digital Footprint.  Make your teen aware of the importance of having a Digital Footprint they are proud of.  Point out and share news stories and other information about positive and negative consequences of online behavior.  Explore online resources with your teen to discover more about the social media tools and apps they hear about and want to use.
    29. 29. Tips to Take With You  Get involved  Learn about social media platforms with your teen  Investigate the social media your teen is using  Check and use privacy settings  Advise your teen about what content is appropriate to share  Delete and block inappropriate content
    30. 30. For Further Information Please visit our website at To find more resources, information, and links to online tools that will help you and your teen use social media for positive social interaction and learning.