Tweens and Teens in a Digital World: Staying informed

Tweens and Teens in a Digital World: Staying informed

Following on from our previous article we are asking ourselves how much we know about the digital world our teens inhabit. How do DMs and IMs differ? Is it possible for strangers to view my child’s posts? Do gaming platforms function like social media? Navigating the various online spaces where children interact can be complex, but gaining an understanding of their workings will enable us to prioritise our child’s safety.

The starting point is always to engage in conversation with our children regarding the platforms they enjoy the most. Recognize that it’s impractical to possess complete knowledge about all aspects of social media and gaming. Instead, rely on our children as a valuable source of information. When they share their experiences about things they have encountered during gaming or discuss apps their friends use, we need to seize the moment to inquire about the functionalities and mechanics of those specific apps or games. These conversations present a valuable opportunity to keep the discussion enjoyable. Opening a dialogue with our children regarding our own preferred apps and online activities can encourage them to share their own experiences as well, which can be a really informative moment. This can then provide an excellent chance to address topics that they may not find as enjoyable, opening the door for future discussions about potentially uncomfortable situations that may arise. 

The key is to stay connected and maintain ongoing conversations. As apps and games continuously progress, it’s essential to keep up with the changes. If we happen to use similar apps, engaging in discussions about the latest features that excite us or aspects that frustrate us, is a useful conversational hook. By incorporating discussions about platforms into our regular conversations, we establish a sense of normalcy and familiarity. In this way, if any related topics arise, our children will already know that we have a shared understanding and common ground.

Many apps and platforms that are popular among our children, even if they don’t meet the recommended age requirements, offer safety resources designed for parents. These resources provide valuable information ranging from platform introductions to expert advice and crucial references on how to report issues. Even if our children are not currently using a particular app, it’s beneficial to review these resources and bookmark them for future reference so that we may get acquainted with resources that are tailored to specific platforms.

Below are links to some commonly used apps and privacy policies as well as the means for reporting inappropriate or dangerous content.

Click on the headings to access the links.

TikTok TikTok’s Safety Center gives you access to their Guardian Guide and their Safety & Privacy controls. TikTok’s Safety Center also includes guides focused on topics like well-being, bullying prevention, and avoiding scams.

Snapchat’s Reporting Center Learn about Snapchat’s community guidelines and how to report inappropriate content.

WhatsApp Security and Reporting Learn how to stay safe on WhatsApp.

YouTube’s Reporting and Enforcement Center Learn about YouTube’s Reporting and Enforcement Center.

XBox Live Reporting Learn how to report inappropriate behavior or abuse on Xbox Live.

Instagram Visit Instagram’s Safety Center to access their Parent’s Guide and Family Center, and to receive guidance about safety and privacy features.

Facebook Although not used very much by our teens, a visit to the Facebook Family Safety Center for information, tools, and safety resources for parents, teens, and teachers can be helpful.

Tumblr Tumblr’s Community Guidelines provide an outline of what Tumblr is and is not for – and provide explanations of what to do if you encounter a safety or security risk on the site.

Twitter Protect your passwords, encourage critical thinking, understand how to report a violation, and more. Here’s some advice for families starting out on Twitter.

SYDNEY SAMAKOSKY           
AMANDA VARKEL

Systemic Head of Counselling               

Systemic Head of Educational Support

SEED Department – Supporting Emotional and Educational Development

Share:

Featured News

Minecraft Education

The digital game-based learning platform Minecraft Education can help learners improve their skills in coding and robotics

Chai to Chai 2024

Matric pupils lead this event filled with fun and educational activities, but mainly to spend time together and connect with their ‘little brothers and sisters’ in Grade 1.

More Matric Accolades

The good news keeps coming with the Matric Class of 2024 and our school making more ‘top of’ lists!

Tax benefits

Tax Benefits of Donating to The Herzlia Foundation Trust

United Herzlia Schools is the sole beneficiary of The Herzlia Foundation Trust PBO No. 930038539

South Africa Donors are eligible for a Section 18 A tax certificate in respect of donation to the Foundation (depending on the terms of the donation within our discretion). Please contact hft@herzlia.com if you require assistance.

United Kingdom Donors can apply for a GiftAid form if they donate through EuroChai SA. Please contact Ralph Frank rjf156@yahoo.com if you require further assistance.

United States of America Donors can receive tax benefit if they donate via the Jewish Community Foundation of San Diego. Please ensure designation of funds is “Friends of Herzlia”.

Canada Donors can receive tax benefits if they donate through UJA Federation of Greater Toronto. Please ensure allocation of funds is written “The Herzlia Foundation Trust” on your donation & tribute form. Please contact Eyal Golan eygolan@ujafed.org if you require further assistance.

Australia Donors can receive tax benefits if they donate through Chai Charitable Foundation.