Should Parents Have Access to Their Child's Social Media?
Most of us spend a large chunk of our time on social media (some would call it an alarming amount) and what we share on social media can be quite personal.
When do we draw the line between sharing our own personal experiences vs. invading our children's privacy?
Many parents want access to their child's social media accounts whether it is for safety concerns or just curiosity.
There are many questions that come with this topic such as: should you have access to your child's social media accounts? Is it a form of an invasion of their privacy?
Let's take a look at some of the issues facing parents today:
1. Parents should be able to access their child's social media accounts in order to keep them safe.
With the safety measures in place on the various social media platforms, parents shouldn't have to keep an eye on their child's activity online but that's not necessarily a realistic standpoint.
Depending on the child's age, parents should be able to access their social media accounts as a safety measure. In the unfortunate case that a child runs away from home, having access to their social media account can help the situation.
2. Parents should have the ability to monitor online activity and set restrictions if needed.
Because we live in a technologically advanced society, there is no doubt our children are going to be exposed to technology at a young age - whether it is because of school or just being around peers who have access to technology for various reasons such as homework or entertainment purposes.
On that note, however, there are some instances where parents feel as though they need to hold back what information their child sees and what information they receive from others.
Related: What Are The Effects of Technology On Our Children?
3. Parents should not have access to their child's social media accounts because it invades their privacy
While safety measures are important, one must draw the line between what is necessary and what is just over-protectiveness.
These measures are vital in this day and age and parents should understand that there is a fine line between that and invading their child's privacy.
If you feel your child may be trying to hide something from you, by all means talk to them about it but also allow them to use social media without being snooped on constantly.
4. It is important for parents to be aware of what their children are posting online.
Social media is a great outlet for people to share various aspects of their life whether it is pictures or information.
However, it is important for parents to be aware of what their children are posting online- which includes pictures.
Parents should have the right to know what sort of photographs their children are posting online because there may be legal documents in them that they would need access to if necessary.
Are you Team Privacy or Team Awareness?
The main point that arises from all of this is that, while both sides have valid arguments, safety measures come first when it comes to social media use by minors so the middle ground might be somewhere in between where parents can gain access to messages and photographs if necessary but also respect their child's privacy at the same time.
With this being said however, there are some who say no way should parents have any type of access to their children's social media because it infringes on their rights as individuals since they are adults now.
In addition, others argue that monitoring your child online could lead them to rebel against you because not only will they lose trust in you but they would feel as though you don't trust them either which will end up causing more harm than good.
In the end, it all boils down to whether or not parents feel as though their child is old enough/mature enough to make a decision on their own and if they are responsible enough to use social media accordingly.
If you feel as though your child has reached these milestones, maybe give them some space regarding their online activity because this will help you feel more comfortable about the situation as well.
However, if you still have concerns for your child's safety then that should come first before anything else.
4. Parents should talk to their children about what is appropriate to post online.
Parents should also remember to talk to their children about what they are posting online.
Discussing the dangers of social media use is important so they can learn early on how to act properly when using it.
This way, your child will feel more comfortable using social media sites because they know what is allowed and what isn't along with having knowledge that there aren't any secrets looming over their head.
While this issue is difficult for many parents, the main focus here should be safety measures first before anything else.
With this being said, however, sometimes giving them some space regarding their online activity might help you feel a little more at ease too which is why it is important to assess the situation properly before making any snap decisions.
5. It is important for parents and children to have a healthy relationship with regards to social media use
While it is important for parents and their children to have a strong relationship, that doesn't mean that they should be the ones who are always in control of everything because this creates an unhealthy environment where the lines between being an authority figure and a friend become blurry.
If your child isn't happy or comfortable with how you handle social media use among other things, maybe it's time to reevaluate your methodologies in order to make them more open towards talking about these issues in general.
Growing up in this world is difficult no matter how old you are but if everyone works together then maybe there could be less problems when it comes to social media itself since kids do live up to our expectations of them no matter how much we try not to.
Parents should talk to their children about what is appropriate to post online. This will allow both parties to feel more comfortable using social media sites because they know what is allowed and what isn't along with having knowledge that there aren't any secrets looming over their head.
While privacy is important, safety measures should come first; especially with minors as they are at a higher risk of harm than adults because they could be easily exploited online because of their age and immaturity.
If parents want the full details about how their children are using social media, perhaps discussing these issues with them would be more appropriate, knowing exactly what to expect beforehand rather than snooping around without warning or finding out from other people who will make matters worse as well as impact your relationship with your child in a negative way.
In reality, there isn't one correct answer when it comes to this issue because everyone is very different in their parenting skills which is why it's important for parents to look at situations they are facing with their children on an individual basis so they can be fully aware of the consequences that come along with these types of decisions.
While privacy is important, safety measures should come first, especially with minors as they are at a higher risk of harm than adults because they could be easily exploited online because of their age and immaturity.
What are your thoughts? Let us know in the comments.