Social Networking and social media is changing the way we interact with the world on a daily basis. As technology advances by leaps and bounds there are changes taking place in our homes, offices, schools, and bedrooms. Physicians, researchers, and scientists are worried there may be long term effects that we are currently unaware of by living, eating, sleeping and showering with our smart phones.
Many social media users take for granted security and privacy settings that may protect them from displaying personal information that can be used to locate where they live, go to school, work, or to contact them. Even if you are safety minded and set your privacy settings so that only your friends and family can see your status when on online when a friend posts on their wall that you work or go to school together, they have just verified your location.
Electronic and social media is the child predatorís newest tool for finding and grooming their next victim. Now instead of having to get up and dressed and go find their victim at a park or other activity, they enter your childís bedroom through your router. Anytime a child is allowed to have a computer in their bedroom, you increase the risk that he or she will become a victim of exploitation.
Computers and laptops should be used only where they can be supervised by an adult, and these devices should never be allowed to be used or stay in the room after curfew. The same goes for smart phones. Teens will leave their instant message alert set on overnight and wait to hear the message indicator that tells them they have a message.
There are concerns from the medical community that the constant gaming, music, and checking email is somehow rewiring how the brain works. At the very least teens are becoming sleep deprived by the constant interruptions. What effect it will have health in the future remains to be seen.
Teach children to list the closest BIG city as their home town. In addition, do not post that you are not home, or your current location, by using apps like check in. Some teens are sending sexy or lewd pictures of themselves and sending that picture to someone who has an app that will save the picture despite the through snapshot which is an app that promises to delete the picture 10 seconds after it is opened.
When you put something out into cyberspace it cannot be undone. It is out there somewhere for eternity. Sexting in many cases is charged with the sending child p0rn and it is a felony. Ignorance is NOT bliss. Currently in these case many are requires some situations teens are now labeled a sex offender and required to register as one for the rest of their life.
One good aspect of electronic and social media is the ability to get information out to a large amount of people quickly as in a missing or abducted child. However, the down side to that is when something horrible happens, like a death in the family. If someone posts the information without allowing a grace period of time for all family members to learn of the situation. This is especially true for young people like grandchildren. How shocking to learn of a relatives passing by logging into Facebook or Twitter!