Balancing Social Media Use

Today, teenagers and even tweens are connecting to one another all over the world via social media. These young people are often more savvy than their parents, which could lead to trouble. It is imperative that parents communicate with their children, regardless of their age, about social media and help them understand the reasons why they have to be careful with what they share online.


Here are 3 tips to help you better balance your family and social media


1.  Establish some rules and requirements. First, as a parent you should “friend” your child on Facebook. This should not be negotiable. You have to know firsthand what your children are doing. I also recommend that you periodically sit down with your children and review their privacy settings together. When your teen updates their status, it should send a message to your cell phone alerting you of the update.  This will allow you to know what changes have been made and if it is an appropriate post or not.

2.  Talk daily about social media use. Make it a daily routine to talk with them about their internet use.   Ask them if they engaged in any chats today. What did they write on their FB page today? Ask them if they received any text messages and did they send any.  I believe that if you share with them and acknowledge you are responsible for them as a parent if anything should ever happen, they may be more willing to comply with your wishes

3. Remind them to think before posting. Encourage your teen to think very carefully about what they plan to post, because once it is out there in cyberspace it can’t be retrieved. Teach your children that anything they post can be copied, pasted or altered to paint a different picture and distributed for other uses at a later time. Also, teach your teenager that when they are looking for work, employers will be able to access their social media pages. Some employers may use the information shared on those sites to determine whether or not they will hire a person.


Find more social media tips from Kim Jacobs to help your family balance social media use.

Watch Daily Balance with Kim Jacobs, a Telly Award winning television talk show on PBS – WTVI every Saturday at 10:00 a.m.  For more tips tune in every Wednesday at 11:00 a.m. for her daily balance segment on Charlotte Today on WCNC News Channel 36.