As a parent, you know how hard it is to keep track of a teenager. I mean after all, you yourself were a crazy teen once upon a time. Staying out late, partying with bad boys, drinking, drugs—it seems as though some aspects of teenage life have remained the same. This behavior is the primary source of disconnect between teens and their parents everywhere. The teenager-parent relationship has always been one full of conflicts and disagreements. And it seems as though modern technology has put yet another strain on this relationship.
With all kinds of social media apps out there, and new ones constantly being developed, teens today are basically in a relationship with their smartphones. From the well known apps of Facebook and Instagram, to the online dating and messaging apps like Tinder and Kik, there are essentially infinite ways to communicate with friends and strangers.
Most apps now have the capability to send messages and images between users. Users can also remain anonymous in some cases, making it next to impossible to know their true identity and intentions.
Run A Phone Number Search, You Won’t Regret It
Trying to control your teen’s social media usage will be an incredibly hard task. They hardly accept friend-requests on Facebook from their parents, so there’s no way they would let you see what they do on Tinder and Snapchat. There are ways that you can monitor their activity and make sure they are being safe when using any social media outlet.
Top 5 Tips For Social Media Safety
- Set some basic rules and be open to discussing anything with your teen. If you are quick to judge or yell at them, they are more likely to keep secrets from you. Make sure they know what behavior is appropriate. Set limits on when they can and can’t use the phone—i.e. no phone after 9pm or until their homework is complete. You will also want to start doing this at an early age. It will then become normal for your teen and they are less likely to fight you when they get older.
- Set up privacy settings on their phones and any home laptops. Filter out explicit sites and data. You can even just filter out social dating sites if you really want to. If you check the browser history you will be able to see if your teen has been up to no good and you’ll know exactly what sites to block.
- Make sure your teen is fully aware of all the dangers of the online world. Let them know there are lots of bad people out there and not everyone is who they say they are. If you have a very disobedient teen, you should pull up real life stories of teens who got into serious trouble by not being safe on their social media accounts. Instilling a little fear in your kid is usually the push they need to get them back on the right track.
- Perform occasional checks on their accounts to see what they are posting. If you’re lucky enough to follow or be friends with your teen then you’ll see exactly what they’re posting. If you’re not, maybe see if other family members can access their profiles. You’ll want to do periodic checks to make sure they aren’t sharing too much of their life, and if you have daughters you’ll definitely want to make sure they aren’t posting racy pictures.
- Run a phone number search. Running this type of search will allow you to see who they are talking to and when. You’ll also be able to see all of their social media profiles and the messages they receive in there. If any strange names or numbers pop up, you will also be able to run name searches and reverse phone number lookups to see who they are.