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Social media + children & teenager = parent debate!

by Claire Savage on 13 January 2011

I watched the BBC Panorama programme earlier this week with the added knowing I am on the verge of entering the debate of “Too Much Too Young” on my own doorstep, at home.

Panorama discussed the sexualisation of the young, teenagers.  And as usual, social mediapopped in the equation, the use of social media by the young.

As a parent of an 11 year old who is beginning to explore the online world, I know at this point of his life I have more knowledge and influence on him than I ever will.  A few more years down the line 1.He’s not going to take notice of me 2. He’s possibly going to be more online savvy than me (hopefully not!) and 3. He’ll think I’m wrong and he will think he knows best!

So how best to address this?

I’ve been thinking about this for some time.  I’m going to approach it with complete transparency.  Give it to him straight and give it to him like a lesson.  What it is, what exists, how to work it, legal side (watch panorama for some interesting thoughts on this) and pros/cons of it all with real life examples.  Above all, what to be careful of with the view of implanting little nuggets of information which will trigger alarm bells in certain situations when he’s older.

Then I got to thinking. Is this part of ICT education now?  It jolly well should be.  There are too many adults using social networks in such a way which scare the life out of me let alone their children .  Furthermore reading in the press, more and more cases of libel concerning individual uses of Twitter, hi-lights even more the need that we have a duty to educate everyone to the same level on online use……and surely that begins in the classroom.

After all, one thing is certain social media is here to stay.

Photo credit: socialmediamixer

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