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Teens and Social Media

Many young people are authoring blogs, websites and Myspace pages. This allows them to express themselves, engage in self reflection, self-actualization and realization. It also gives them the chance to express some creativity and interact with other teens.

However, the internet can also be a dangerous place. There are adult predators and teen bullies. Young people can also be their own worst enemies and discuss behaviors that are dangerous to themselves such as suicide, eating disorders and cutting. To help protect your teen or child while on the internet, it is important to take certain actions.

Keep track of what your teen or child is doing on the internet. Consider some sort of software that records what sites are visited. You can also check your computer’s history, although teens are savvy enough to simply erase it. Also, put the computer in a family area that is well trafficked. This will discourage your teen from engaging in risky and inappropriate behavior online.

I know that there has been a big deal made about teen privacy. But I’m sure that many parents of teens that have ended up dead or injured (whether physically or emotionally) wished they had been a little more involved and nosey. It is better to be proactive and little overbearing then to be sad and mourning after your teen has managed to get themselves into trouble that you nor them can handle

2 Responses to “Teens and Social Media”

  1. Hi Nigel. Your touching on very important issues, many of which are still a mystery to many of my mental health colleagues. You may find this article very interesting (and frightening): http://www.nytimes.com/2008/08/03/magazine/03trolls-t.html?_r=1&oref=slogin

    I’m an adolescent therapist based in Toronto, Ontario. As well, I’m a supervisor at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health. Where are you based? Free free to send me an email, or call… it’d be good to touch base, share info, etc.

    - Avrum
    Toronto, Ontario

    [Reply]

  2. Serena Jones-McGregor says:

    I jokingly tell my children I own them until they’re either 18 years old or have moved out of my house. I don’t believe teens or any other children have a right to privacy. I’m infamous for saying, “If you don’t want the world to know what you’re doing, don’t do it in this world.” ;-)

    [Reply]

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