Social media usage has becoming a normal part of many of our daily lives. In many cases, it’s become a sort of “virtual companion.” The one that we think of first when anything of significance (or otherwise) in our lives happens- and then we post. This is especially true for our older kids who have been raised on it and wholeheartedly believe they know far more about all forms of social media that we, as their parents, do (and sometimes that’s true:). However, it’s also true for 20,000 or so younger and younger kids (ahem, I mean the ones who are all 13- wink wink) jumping on Facebook and Instagram, etc everyday.
Our phones and tablets have become what we grab when we have even 4 seconds of downtime. Don’t believe me? Look over that the guy next to you at the stop light. Or check our all of the spectators at any given sports event. Or the school bus after school. Or the kids on the back seat of the minivan.
I don’t think you can impress upon your kids enough about the dangers of oversharing on social media. They rarely realize what people can find out about them and what opportunities that may present for the wrong person. In many cases, they even do it inadvertently, not stopping to think about the information they just posted. If they look at you like you have 4 heads and are just an annoying parent when you bring it up with them, you are doing a good job. If they roll their eyes, sigh and reassure you with the “I know, Mom, I don’t put anything on Facebook that’s inappropriate”, don’t believe them. Their definition of inappropriate may not be the same as yours.
So…check out the short video below. And, then show your kids. While Jack Vale makes a living off of pranks, he makes a strong point in this video about how easy it is to find all sorts of detailed information about strangers. This video is a good reminder about the dangers of oversharing and to think carefully and to choose what you post before posting.