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Last night when I woke up to fetch a glass of water from kitchen, I saw my teen aged nephew chatting with somebody, on his laptop. It was around 1am at night. I walked down to his room and quietly kept looking at him, he was completely immersed in his job. it took him 2 minutes to realize that I was standing there and was staring at him. As he noticed the probing expression on my face, he gave me a to the point explanation. He said“plsss maasi, don’t be an oldie. We are just friends, helping each other in studies. Do not worry I ll take care of me. “ I asked him to wind up and sleep soon. But, I found myself in a “what to say and what not to say“ kind of a situation.
Today teenagers are exposed to new technology, are far more confident, are highly ambitious, they start planning for their future at a tender age and are head strong to achieve their goals too. Indeed, technology and social networking site these days are big help to them. It helps them to make contacts friends and groups which boosts them professionally as well as personally. But this help is having a hidden face too.
Experts says, cybercrime has increased in last 10 years and social networking sites acts as a womb for such crimes. In this techno savvy world, we cannot ask our kids to stay away from such sites. But should teach them to protect themselves from treacherous hidden hands of social media.
Here are 7 things which we should teach your kids about social media.
- Your safety is in your hands- in today’s world, where anytime and anywhere we could be trapped. Thinking about your safety first, is not wrong. Think, evaluate, doubt, question while taking any decision through any social sites. After all it is “better to be safe than to be sorry“.
- Never trust anybody, being an emotional fool- “ Pushpa I hate tears“ decades before poor Rajesh Khanna was bluffed by Sharmila Tagore`s tears. Believe me, the scenario has not yet changed. Be aware of somebody who may try to befool you on emotional grounds. “Think before you leap“
- Do not share your personal and financial information- tell your kid, never to share their personal information, passwords and financial details with anybody online. Tell them clearly that this information is private and disclosing it to anybody may lead them to serious trouble.
- Use your language carefully and avoid political comments. Teach your kids to use their words carefully and thoughtfully. Anything posted on social media stays there forever. Abusive, harsh or inappropriate comments can prove to be a trouble in future – You know-“ words casts spells, that’s why they are called spellings“
- Don’t be impulsive and overconfident- “ adrenalin“ thanks to Bollywood for spreading this term. This is one of the hormone which triggers in body at the time of puberty. Impulsiveness, overconfidence, anger etc. are side products of this recipe. Teach your kids not to take any decision in haste and in control of any such emotion. Social sites have hidden instincts, beware.
- Trust your parents- This is one teaching we parents should incorporate in our kids from very young age. If you had listened to your kid`s school stories then he will surely tell you about his online troubles too. Tell him that he can trust you in all his ups and downs.
- Select the content wisely- tell your kid that few links are inappropriate and are not meant for them. Teach them to select and open the content mindfully. They are still kids and it is always “better to be late than to arrive ugly.
Internet and its charm is lucrative. But this charming bug is suffering from split personality. There is no harm in being oldies, till the extend we make sure that our kids are safe.