From Selfies to “The Social Dilemma”

children on social media

For parents who reluctantly enable their children’s obsession with social media, it’s unsettling to hear creators of the most popular social platforms admit they refuse to let their own children use them.

This is the reality brought to light in Netflix’s recent documentary, The Social Dilemma, a film that explores the repercussions of our modern addiction to technology, and the imperceptible risks to our individual and collective privacy, safety, and well-being.

Should we pry those devices out of our kids’ hands and delete our own accounts on the very platforms that enable us to “heart” our neighbor’s awkward family photo, LOL at Grumpy Cat’s shreds of wisdom, or crowdfund a single mom’s cancer treatment? Maybe not.

Take control of your digital footprint and safeguard your family while enjoying what you love most about technology and social media:

  • Be mindful about social media use: The minutes and hours seem to disappear as we habitually scroll our social feeds. To use social media with intention, turn off unnecessary notifications and curate your feed to show more of what matters most. Use a screen time tracker to help you monitor and limit your time, such as Instagram’s Limit Your Time setting. Manage your children’s use of devices and encourage them to do the same for themselves.
  • Remember that social media platforms aren’t only designed For You: While we enjoy great benefit from them, these platforms also gather and analyze our data to benefit other entities. As The Social Dilemma reveals, that data can then be used to influence our behaviors and decisions.
  • Think before you post: Refrain from posting photos from your location in real-time. Take care not to inadvertently display your personally identifiable information such as your passport number or bank accounts.
  • Ask about cyber services: Many insurers and employers offer personal cyber solutions with helpful resolution services. These valuable programs are often included in homeowners’ policies and go beyond standard identity theft coverage to help customers and employees avoid and recover from modern cyber threats.
  • Own your passwords, privacy settings & connections: Use a unique and strong password for each social account and change frequently. Enable multi-factor authentication to secure your logins even further. Verify friend requests and block fake accounts.
  • Defend from cyber bullying: Online harassment commonly occurs in social media and gaming platforms and can result in serious mental, physical, and emotional distress. Talk to your kids about potential dangers and remind them to inform you or another trusted adult if they feel targeted. Show them how to block “trolls” and unwanted accounts. Pay attention to their activity online and who they are connecting with.

About The Social Dilemma:

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