Let’s be honest, Facebook memories are often uncomfortable. Have you ever squirmed reading a post from five years ago?
We know we have. Sometimes, we can’t help but just cringe.
Now, Facebook memories aren’t the only uncomfortable online experiences we’ve faced.
As adults, we know the internet is forever and one careless post can create ripple effects that reach into personal relationships and careers.
But, do our kids know this?
If they haven’t been taught it, chances are they don’t know. They haven’t yet seen how an old Tweet can be dug up out of someone’s past and spread online.
As your kid starts using social media and building a digital “resume,” they need you to give them tools to keep their online reputation strong.
How can you do this?
It’s time to start encouraging them to T.H.I.N.K. before they post.
Let’s break this down.
T — Is it true?
Is the photo, comment, video, caption, or status your kid about to post true? If your kid isn’t confident the content is accurate, it probably isn’t worth posting. We know it all too well. One little seed of misinformation can set off a vicious cycle of gossip and bullying (especially online).
H — Is it helpful?
How might this post impact your kid or one of their followers? Let’s be clear. Every post your kid puts out there doesn’t need to be pulled from a self-help book. But, this thought can keep them from posting something that would intentionally or unintentionally hurts another person. It’s always easier to change some words before posting instead of trying to repair damage after posting.
I — Is it inspiring?
Again, your kid doesn’t need to turn their social media accounts into motivational blogs. But, have them consider their intention behind each post. Is it negative content that could discourage or hurt someone else? Best to hold off posting that.
N — Is it necessary?
I think we can all agree that the majority of the content online is unnecessary. Encourage your child to really give their posts some thought. This doesn’t mean they shouldn’t post selfies. But, an upset rant about a friend? Best to delete that and handle it offline.
K — Is it kind?
Spreading kindness online may be one of the most important lessons to teach your kid. The digital world can quickly become a negative and toxic place (we don’t have to tell you to check out the comment section of a Facebook post to prove this point). Is what they’re saying making the world a better place or not? It’s important to talk about the severity of cyberbullying and how they can be part of the solution, not the problem.
Now, let’s be clear. The point isn’t to make sure that your kid’s post has every one of these qualities. This isn’t a list to check off before posting.
Rather, giving your kid the tools to T.H.I.N.K helps them avoid the regret of posting something that is untrue, unhelpful, discouraging, unnecessary, or unkind.
While they may not yet grasp the long-term consequences, the wrong kind of content can tarnish their digital “resume” and become a roadblock while searching for colleges or jobs later in life.
With your encouragement to T.H.I.N.K, their online experience will add value to their life rather than negativity. It doesn’t mean they’ll never cringe coming across some of their old posts. It does mean that those posts won’t damage them or the people around them.
Ready for more insight? The Aqua One gives you peace of mind about what your kid is posting online!
There’s nothing hidden from you in your Parent Dashboard so this seamless monitoring keeps you from being in the dark about what they’re saying online. See a concerning post? You now have the ability to start a conversation and teach your kid exactly how to keep their digital reputation strong.