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What Are Some Basic Social Media Rules for High Schoolers?

Topics: Social Media
Text: Q&A

High school teens have their own lives online. They're checking their friends' posts (and sharing their own), watching their favorite shows, uploading photos and videos, playing games, video-chatting, and exploring their interests.

By high school, parents and caregivers hope kids understand the basics of online etiquette, such as thinking before posting, being kind, and using privacy settings. You can also teach your teens to keep a few more things in mind:

Anything on social media can be made public. Remind your teens that anyone can see what they post online -- even if they think no one will. Potential employers and college admissions staff often browse applicants' social media accounts. Ask your teens to think about who might see their profiles and how others might interpret their posts.

Online posts can be cut, altered, pasted, and sent around. Once they put something online, it's out of their control, which means it can be taken out of context and used to hurt them or someone else. Tell them that stuff posted online can last forever. If they wouldn't put something on the wall of the school hallway, they shouldn't post it online.

Avoid drama and hurting others. Help them think about the consequences of forwarding harmful messages or embarrassing photos. It's also hurtful to pretend to be other people by using their accounts or creating fake ones.

Don't post your location. Many social media platforms allow kids to post their locations. Although it might be tempting to use these features to connect with friends, it's just not safe for teens.

Watch the clock. It's easy to spend a lot of time on social media if you're not careful. Hours and hours can go by, which isn't great for getting homework done, practicing sports or music, reading, or spending time with others.

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