Black Mirror

Not sure if you know what Black Mirror is but it is a show on Netflix that centers around dark and satirical themes that examine modern society, particularly with regard to the unanticipated consequences of new technologies.

I have caught a few episodes and have been very intrigued about it as it really is giving us a good perspective on what the future holds for us when it comes to technology.

I have thought about what I have watched and realize they hit on some key points with regards to social media.  One episode, “Nosedive” focused on how we rely on social media to rate us, to give us thumbs up, to build our confidence, to have us fit in to a higher class.  As you meet each person in real life, you are instantly taken to their profile on your mobile (which means your mobile NEVER leaves your hand) and you must rate your encounter and depending on your overall rating, determines where you live, who you can hang out with, where you can shop…..you get the picture.

Why I was intrigued by this is that I see this happen all the time in social media in the sense of being rated.  We put up a picture and we watch our notifications to see how many people like/comment on it.  If someone that you are expecting to respond and they don’t, you start to formulate negative thoughts and question why.  You can imagine how this is affecting our youth of today.  I mean, they LIVE on social media (Instagram, SnapChat) and every picture is worth a thousand words, leading to approval.  Sad, that we have created this environment and to think that it will only get worse as the world of technology continues to grow.

So, how do we as a society stop it?  I wish I had an answer but I really don’t because as adults, don’t we do the same?  Don’t we try and take the perfect picture and hope to get the response that we need to feel good about ourselves?  We rely on other people to judge us, YES, judge us.   So, how do we teach the youth of today, and their children, that this is not how confidence is built?  How do we guide them down a path to not rely on social media when technology is only going to get bigger and bigger?

Food for thought………

 

 

Safety for your children

The world of Social Media is only going to get bigger and when it comes to our children, we need to take some extra precautions on how they are using these different sites.

I know many parents don’t even realize their children are using different sites and were not involved when their accounts were being set up.  I believe, as parents, we need to make sure that our children are protected BUT also help to make their privacy settings safe for them.

I am going to focus on Facebook BUT I want you to take the same concept for any other Social Media sites your child is using.  I will make some additional points, further down, in regards to other sites.

Facebook

P.S.  My suggestions are based on the computer version of Facebook, not the App, however, these changes will affect the App version.

The great thing about Facebook, is they do have privacy settings that you can go through with your children and set them properly.  I find the best way to understand what is being seen by the public is to view our profiles in that same environment.

  1. Go to your personal profile/timeline
  2. Click on the 3 dots just under the cover photo
  3. Choose the option “view as”
  4. This view will show you how your profile is shown in the public eye
  5. You want to go through/scroll and determine what needs to be fixed in regards to what you do NOT want the public to see

view as.png

Your next step will be to go through all the “settings” that Facebook has put into place for.  When you are your “home” tab, click the drop down arrow and go to “settings”.  Take the time to go through each tab and read to see what the option is and determine how you want it applied to your account.

Another KEY point to take note of, is that when new profile pictures are uploaded, they are automatically set to “public” therefore, you need to make sure to change that privacy to “friends” after you have uploaded it.  The reason being, is that when you change that picture again, the old ones will remain public and available for people to steal (this can lead to fake profiles).

If you find that when you are viewing your profile in the public view and there are elements you are not sure how to fix, just send me a message and I will help you.

I would also like to encourage you to remind your children that if they receive a friend request from someone they don’t know (even if it is a person of the same age or close to), to have you check that person’s profile before accepting.  Use your judgment on what you see on that profile, click on the different tabs you see visible, scroll through their timeline, and go with your gut.

Other Social Media sites:

  • Instagram and Twitter have privacy settings available to you, so you can take the steps and go through these with your children and make sure they are set up properly
  • The majority of the kids are using Snapchat, so I found this great article that can teach you about the privacy side of things.  CLICK HERE!

It is so IMPORTANT that we make sure our children are safe as this world is only going to get bigger.  Take the extra time to go through all the sites they are using and educate yourself on the security side of things.  There are tons of articles available in Google that can help you, embrace them.