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Social Media Lesson For Kids: Sites & Safety

Instructor: Suzanne Rose

Suzanne has taught all levels PK-graduate school and has a PhD in Instructional Systems Design. She currently teachers literacy courses to preservice and inservice teachers.

Do you like to use social media to share information with your friends? Do you know what cyberbullying is? In this lesson, you'll learn about some problems with social media and how to keep yourself safe in cyberspace.

Social Media

If you're like most kids your age, you probably enjoy spending time online or using your phone to communicate with your friends. In fact, a recent study found that 89% of kids ages 13–19 use social media, and over half of kids age 13–17 use social media sites every day.

Social Media
social

Many apps and social media sites are fun and they are wonderful ways to interact with your friends. But there are also issues and dangers in social media.

Some Problems with Social Media

Who am I Talking To?

Many social media sites don't monitor their users closely, which means that some people who use the site shouldn't be there!

Several years ago, a study found that 38% of Facebook users were under age 13, which is the minimum age for signing up for an account.

If you are chatting with someone you don't know online, that person could be anyone at all. A person could tell you that she's a 13-year-old girl, but could actually be a 67-year-old man, and you would have no way of knowing!

Cyberbullying

Cyberbullying is a major problem on social media. Cyberbullying is any kind of bullying that is done using technology, such as phones, tablets, or computers. Believe it or not, 87% of kids have said they've seen cyberbullying on social media sites.

Cyberbullying includes:

  • Pretending you're someone else online and saying nasty things
  • Saying untrue things about other people
  • Posting embarrassing photos of someone else

Know Your Friends!
text

When cyberbullying happens, many kids delete their social media accounts. This usually doesn't help. If you've been bullied by someone online, you need to tell an adult about it so that something can be done.

Information is Never Really 'Gone'

On some apps, such as Snapchat, it may seem as if the video you sent or watched has 'disappeared.' How can a video that disappears get you into trouble? Nothing online really disappears—anything that you send has left an electronic record and can be traced back to you. Also, people who receive your messages can take a screenshot of the message or photo and save it.

There are many teenagers and older adults who have gotten into trouble because of postings, tweets, or photos they sent and then deleted.

Tips for Staying Safe on Social Media

Using social media sites and apps such as Snapchat, Facebook, Instagram, Kik, and Twitter can be a lot of fun, as long as you keep these tips in mind for staying safe:

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