Screenshot from video of kids hanging out at the beach.
Screenshot from video of kids hanging out at the beach. Sharyn Oneill

Supermum talks on being unsocial on social media

THERE has been a lot of talk last week about the dangers of kids and social media.

Cyber safety, online bullying and social wellbeing have all made headlines in mainstream media.

A new report says one in five teens has been the victim of cyber bullying in the last year.

It is scary for sure, and I know kids who have been the targets.

Yet I don't believe banning them from technology is the solution.

Believe me, they will find a way.

With technology becoming a large part of everyday life the best way to deal with these increasing issues is through education.

I believe it is about teaching kids how to respect the tools at their disposal, and learn how to use them wisely.

It is not just the kids that need education either. It is parents (and grandparents) who need to know what kids could be up to behind covered screens.

But there is more than education needed.

And then it is a case of if you can't beat them, join them.

Or at least spy on them.

Privacy scmivacy.

While a child is under my roof I am going to check up on their behaviour at home, at school and on social media.

I have my son's passwords and follow all the kids' social media activity.

Back in my day (yes, I know) our parents used to find out what we were up to through the neighbourhood gossip chain.

They would most likely know where we had been and what we had done that day before we even got home to tell them ourselves.

On the flip side I too get to keep an eye on the kids without much effort.

Here's my final tip: get your kids interested in photography and video.

Take the recent student-free day as an example.

I was working and the boys decided to venture to the beach with a group of friends. They had it planned. Catch a bus, catch a few waves, and head home before dark.

I got to watch all the action from the privacy of my own computer, thanks to their photo posts and a video collage of the entire event.



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