You won’t find many teens on Facebook these days. It’s overrun with their moms, dad, aunts, uncles, cousins, grandmothers, grandfathers, and godparents–that’s a teens worst nightmare! Especially on social media. Teenagers haven’t gone offline, though. Far from it! They’re just going places that the dreaded adults don’t have accounts. After all, you JUST got the hang of Facebook–how are you supposed to keep up? It’s not easy being a parents, but if you don’t know what your child is doing on the internet, you’re going to have a problem.
Twitter is good for making everything in a teenager’s life (or anyone’s life) breaking news. They can talk to each other, celebs, authors, etc. A common trend, however, in cyber bullying is something called “Subtweeting.” Subtweeting occurs when a user sends a tweet that bullies someone without mentioning their actual name. Instead they mention a personal identifier for that victim. So teens can call their peers stupid, ugly, etc without actually saying their names. Basically, they talk in code. Be aware that your child could either be sending subtweets or be receiving them.
In a visual word, what’s better than a purely visual social media platform? Many people become InstaFamous, posting photos that receive hundreds and thousands of likes/comments–but teens should proceed with caution. While adults often post mature content on Instagram, teens should not being doing this. Also beware of bullying, which is more prone to happen if your teen’s privacy settings have been set to public.
Snapchat is basically the Holy Grail of privacy to a teen. They can take and share photos with their friends, under the assumption that those photos disappear. This can be used for innocent inside jokes. But it can also be used for bullying and sending nude photos. Teens should be aware that even if they take a nude photo of themselves and intentionally send it to someone, that it is illegal, as it is considered child pornography. They should also be aware that the receiver can screenshot their message and that Snapchat is potentially still storing all those photos.
Tumblr is a blogging platform. Unlike WordPress or Blogger though, this system is highly visual. While teens can blog and journal on the site, they can also reblog photos, gifs and videos. While this can be fun, you may want to keep an eye on your teen’s Tumblr to make sure they’re posting and following appropriate sites. Tumblr is FULL of mature content that is not suitable to those under 18. Those on Tumblr also often form communities that support self-harm habits such as cutting, anorexia, bulimia, etc. While Tumblr has taken a stand against such communities, it is impossible for them to police them 100% of the time. So make sure your teen’s lifestyle habits and online habits are healthy.
They did it for the Vine! Vine is a video platform that loops a short video on repeat. This platform is often used for humorous reasons and can always provide a good laugh. Then again, sometimes teens use this platform to have a laugh at someone else’s expense. They may film a peer that does not know she’s being filmed, mock her and post it to the internet. That’s cyber bullying and, of course, it’s wrong (and illegal in some states). Again make sure what your teen is posting is appropriate. The internet public and permanent and sometimes teens forget that.
Kik can be your worst nightmare. Kik is a messaging app, that keeps the messages a user sends private, or so it says. In other words, it’s not uncommon for teens to use this to sext each other. Bullying is also often associated with this app.