Just like so many other things in life, social media can be a tool used in a positive or negative way for middle school aged children. Social media sites allow them to communicate and connect with peers but if left unchecked and unmonitored, it can quickly spiral into a space where impressionable middle schoolers are left to felt overwhelmed, lonely and un-”liked.”
Our friends at NetSmartz remind parents that social media sites typical require users to be at least 13 years old, but it can be easy for our children to lie about their birthdates and create accounts anyway. Having open and honest communications around social media apps that are available and what they are used for is a great first step in talking about social media safety.
NetSmartz also offers some great discussion starters:
- What’s your favorite website or app? What do you like to do there?
- Have you ever seen something online you didn’t want to see?
- Do you ever talk to people you don’t know online? What do you talk about?
- Can you show me which sites and apps you’re using?
- Would you feel comfortable if I checked your accounts?
- What kinds of things do you post?
- How do you decide who to add as a friend?
- How much personal information do you share online?