Have a social media talk – offline

Instead of stalking your child on Facebook, or trying to log in to their account, the most important thing for parents to do is to talk to their children offline, a social media expert says.

People First chief executive Martin J Cowling, who is visiting Blenheim, describes social media as a group of tools that allows anyone to say anything at any time to anyone, with people also being able to comment on what is being said.

Social media, which includes Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and even texting, has both good and bad qualities, Mr Cowling said.

It allows children to stay in contact with friends and family, as well as express their opinions and have them heard, he said. However, it also opens them up to bullying, which can have a huge negative impact on a child’s life.

“Talk about bullying with your kid,” he said. “There are strategies to avoid it, such as blocking the bullies. Unfortunately, kids quite often want to see what is being said.”

The bullying today is a lot faster and more immediate, and also lasts longer, Mr Cowling said… Read more

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