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Posts Tagged ‘twitter’

Two Faces of Social Media Users

Saturday, May 7th, 2011

Two Faces of Social Media Users

It is not uncommon for teens to have more that one FaceBook, Twitter, My Space or other social media account. Often they have one strictly for family and extended family and one that shows a completely different side of their personality.

Recently in Dear Abby, an advice column that is syndicated in newspapers across America I came across the following letter:

“Dear Abby: I have just learned that a friend’s 16 year-old daughter has two different FaceBook profiles. One is a ‘nice’ profile to which she has invited me, her family and friends from her days at a Christian academy. The other, which is pretty raw, she uses with her new ‘wild’ friends from public high school.

The first profile portrays her as the perfect student and daughter. The other includes explicit details about her sexual exploits and

Social media sites may allow a teenager to have two faces...one for family and one for friends.

drinking parties. Should I keep my nose out of it or let her parents know about the dual identities?”

Signed Vigilant in Everett, Washington

What Would You Do?

Given the information above, how would you proceed? It has been said it takes a village to raise a child and as a parent, I have always welcomed concern and caring regarding my family from others. However what I would not like is someone talking behind my back or being judgmental about my child and their choices in life.

Here is what Abby had to say:

“Dear Vigilant:

Ask yourself whether you would want to be warned about your minor child’s drinking and sexual exploits or kept in the dark and you will have your answer.”

The letter got me thinking, so in reading the letter to Dear Abby, I viewed it from a number of angles: one as the parents, Vigilant who wrote to Dear Abby and the daughter in question.

Cyber-Space Has an Infinite Memory

Many young people lack the life experiences to understand how much exposing their youthful escapades can come back to hurt them in the future. Colleges and employers are now routinely screening applicants through social media sites as well as Goggling applicants.

What seemed to be funny, exciting and rebellious to a 16 year old, can easily become a detriment to the child’s future as well as an embarrassment to the family.

As caring adults, we need to impress on our young people to pause, and consider how what they are about to put out there in cyber space may be viewed, and by whom it may be viewed before pushing send. Think through the decision to post something now. That hasty post could do irreparable harm to your reputation and life for years to come. And as adult we also need to think about the decision to post items. Often posts sent in the heat of anger can be hurtful to others, and cannot be retracted.

Good Advice

While Dear Abby in this case offers good sound advice, so did my mother. She used to tell us “If you are going to regret something tomorrow, you probably shouldn’t be doing it tonight.” Her suggestion didn’t always stop her children and grandchildren from making mistakes, but it did help us to stop and think before proceeding. Isn’t that what we want young people to do?

Some Questions to Ask Yourself and Your Child?

Is this post reflective of who I really am? Is this what I want people to believe about me? Will what I post be hurtful to other people? Is this something I would want a prospective employer to read? Is this something I would want my future children to see? Can I walk away from the computer, phone or electronic device for a few minutes and come back to it, will I still feel the same way, and will I still consider sending it?

Think Before Posting to Social Media Sites!

You can do it, I have confidence in you.

Judy Helm Wright

Join me on Twitter;  http://www.Twitter.com/judyhwright

Keeping Children Safe by Being Internet Savvy

Tuesday, July 20th, 2010

Keeping Children Safe by being Internet Savvy

The face of the way we communicate has changed rapidly over the past 20 years. Bullying used to take place in schools and parks, but with the advent of new technologies bullying can happen anywhere.

Children used to take refuge from playground bullies at home, but with the internet readily available to many children, and more and more young people carrying cell phones instances of cyber-bullying are increasing at an alarming rate.

Chat rooms, Blogs, Facebook, My Space and other social media sites, e-mail, instant messengers,

Teens use cell phones and the internet to connect with each other. It is easy to use electronics to bully others.

and online gaming and text messaging are just a few ways children are being bullied. Often, as parents, we don’t even know when our children are being abused by others online.

Although it may be difficult to tell when a child is being subjected to the abusive behaviour of others unless they come to an adult for advice. One thing we can watch for is our children being upset after being on the internet or receiving text messages.

HOW TO HELP

  • encourage your children to share offensive or abusive e-mails, posts, and texts with a trusted adult
  • encourage them to use only moderated chat rooms that help curtail abusive behaviour
  • teach them to no respond to abusive posts or e-mails
  • help them learn to keep their passwords safe and be cautious about who they give their e-mail address or cell phone number to
  • be sure to turn on child safety features installed on your computer
  • teach them to think about how their actions may affect others, and to think twice before hitting send on any post or e-mail

Keep your child safe by teaching them not to give out personal information when online.

Make sure you children understand they should never arrange to meet someone you have only been in touch with online. This can be extremely dangerous. Online friends are still strangers.


One simple way to keep them safe is to encourage them to only accept e-mails, instant messages, or texts from people they know and trust.

Teach children that all information online may not always be reliable! There are many people out there who create fake “profiles” with only the intention of meeting and abusing others. In almost all cases its best to only chat online with real world friends and family.

Make sure your children know that if they are uncomfortable, or are being bullied they can come to you or another trusted adult for help. Keeping our children safe online and teaching them how to use a technology as a tool for healthy entertainment, information and communication will help them become a prudent, happy, healthy productive members of society.

Information for this article comes from Childnet International and KidSMART.org.uk