Posted in Parenting, Teen

Social Media: What is Its Impact on our Primary Relationships?

 

Hello everyone! I hope all is well with you. I’m back today and I’m discussing something that I’m sure is near and dear to everyone’s hearts. I’m talking about Social Media.

As an author, I rely on Social Media to get the word out about my books and events that I’m participating in. It’s a great way to make professional connections with other authors, bloggers, and reviewers.

Social Media Landscape 2011

****This photo courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons. Photographer Fred Cavazza

Link to license: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/

However, that’s the business side of Social Media; let’s take a look at the personal side of it. Many experts feel that Social Media is weakening our primary relationships. When I say primary, I’m talking about our relationship with our families and close friends. The experts feel that people spend so much time building up their social networks that they neglect these relationships. In fact, this article states just that. To read more, click the link. http://www.buzzle.com/articles/how-does-social-media-affect-relationships.html

I can see where this would be a problem. However, I do see a positive side to Social Networking as well. I think it’s incredible that my child can communicate with another child from another country via Social Media. What a way to bridge the gap between different cultures. What a great way to learn something about another country first hand.

I see this as a great positive. In my opinion, a whole new world has been opened up for the next generation if it’s used properly. When I say if it’s used properly, I mean if it’s used in moderation.

Just like we don’t want our kids playing video games 24/7 we  don’t want them interacting via social media sites for that long either. We should use the same constraints with social media that we would for any new activity that our kids engage in. The motto around my house is that everything’s good in moderation.

We as parents can make sure our kids don’t forget about their “real life” friends by setting limits on the amount of time they’re on social media and making sure they’re involved in other things like clubs and sports.

If we do this then the negative impact from Social Networking will be less. I’m sure there’ll be some kids who abuse it, just like there are some who abuse alcohol, or text and drive.

That’s why it’s important to have parental involvement. If parents are close by monitoring their child’s activity on the internet, they’re less likely to get into trouble. I know. Famous last words, right?

Thanks for stopping by and reading my post today! If you have any insight on how to set guidelines for social media use for teens, please leave a comment! I’d love to hear from you!

 

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Posted in Emblazon

October’s Tween Meme–Social Networking for Tweens!

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Hello everyone, I hope all is well with you! It’s time for the October Tween Meme! You can check out the other Emblazoners Posts by clicking this link: http://emblazoners.com/tween-the-weekends

I decided to write about something that is prevalent in our society right now, and that is Social Networking. It seems like new social networks are popping up all over the internet. What exactly is it?

Social Networking is the grouping of individuals into specific categories. For example, you could join a group if you love reading where the focus is on books. You could even join a group that enjoys a specific genre, like mysteries. There are all kinds of groups available, and people only join a particular group if they are interested in the focus of the group. But, where do you find these groups?

These groups are found on Social Networking Sites, such as Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, or Tumblr. What’s exciting about Social Networking is that you could establish a relationship with someone on the other side of the world. What an awesome way to broaden your horizons.

However, there are risks involved with Social Networking too. Just as there are predators in the real world, there are predators on social media as well. These predators can lie and join these groups. Their goal is to establish a relationship with you, to build your trust so they can eventually finagle a meeting in real life. The bottom line is they have an agenda.

So what can a tween/teen do to protect herself?  That is a very good question. I would recommend going to a site that is set up especially for tweens/teens. There are a couple of new Social Networking Sites that take into consideration the risks that interacting on the internet can expose young girls to. One of them is called TeenXpress, and here’s the link: http://teenxpress.com/

I’ve spoken with the creator of this site and her focus is developing a safe environment for tweens/teens, so they can interact socially. When you create an account, the system asks for your date of birth. If you’re over a certain age, you won’t be able to continue the process. After all, it’s just for tweens/teens.

I know what you’re thinking, sometimes people lie. That’s true, but there are also filters within the system that will flag the administrators if someone isn’t chatting in an appropriate manner. When the flags go up that person can be kicked out of the network. Most other networks do not have this kind of system in place. In other networks, a member has to report the bad behavior of the offender in order for any action to occur. In fact, other networks find thousands of predators in just this way and their memberships are revoked daily.

Another site that’s available is http://www.everloop.com/. On this site parents are required to supervise their children and it’s also set up to protect your child from cyber-bullying and inappropriate content.

Even on these sites, teens should use caution and trust their instincts. Don’t give out too much personal information and be careful whom you engage.

Also, don’t forget to get together with your friends from real life too! Even social networking can’t take the place of real interaction with your peers.

Thanks for stopping by and reading my post. Leave a comment; I’d love to read your thoughts. If you need a break from Social Media, check out the Emblazoner’s Books! They’re great tween reads!  Here’s the link: http://emblazoners.com/our-books/

Thanks again for stopping by!