Managing your child’s on-line reputation. If not you then who?
So it’s half term here in Lancashire, and it’s pretty safe to say that a fair few young people are entertaining themselves on-line.
Do YOU know what they’re viewing and sharing?
Gabe O Neill the President of Kids Are Heroes wrote ..
“It is my contention that many if not most parents have no clue what their teenager is up to on-line. What they don’t know definitely can hurt them and their teens’ reputations.“
The last decade has seen a big change to UK culture. We have developed a fascination for living publicly – Big Brother, Made in Chelsea and the Only Way Is Essex….. We all know it’s cheap TV, but love it or hate it, it’s popular and we can’t ignore the influence that it has.
Facebook, twitter, youtube, instagram….. these have all enabled, if not encouraged, us all to share everything. Many adults chose to not participate, but our young people have been raised in this culture.
In my opinion, we have a bit of a double standard going on in our society right now .
As a social media and sales trainer I obviously meet business owners who, rightly, understand the importance of managing their on-line reputation, and further more are clear that they will check the social media presence of job candidates.
At the same time we have parents posting photos of their children without permission, adults use their child’s photo as their twitter and Facebook avatar, new babies have their photos on-line within minutes of being born, and parents are even bad mouthing their children on line.
Whilst researching for a policy video, it became clear to me that many adults still don’t understand what is and is not acceptable to share. So how we can expect our young people to?
We understand that it’s important to know about our children’s offline life, so we should want to know where they’re going and who they’re meeting on-line too, but for many of my generation, things have just moved too quickly for us to fully comprehend the implications. I meet many parents who say that they don’t know about their children’s on-line activity, whilst for some young people their parents and carers just choose not to not get involved in this part of their life. But whilst our young people are perhaps technically savvier than us, it does not mean they are worldly wise and if we do not take the time to understand, how can we protect our young people?
Social media is a great communication enabler, and I believe it is positive for young people when managed well, but without parental guidance we are allowing our young people to ruin their reputation before they even get out of school.
My back ground is in fact in youth work, so I get that this is pretty important and that it’s not enough to just say that we don’t understand!
So for everyone that would like to know more about this, over the next few months I will be posting tips for on-line safety, reputation management and privacy, so that we can guide our young people to be safer and more thoughtful on-line.
I would love to hear your questions and stories, so please feel free to leave comments below, or leave me a message on facebook.