Children and teenagers use social media as a way to share information and connect with other people. Sites like Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter have become a predominant forum to present themselves, seek approval, and describe their interests. They use these sites to share videos, music, pictures, and stories that define themselves to others.

June is National Internet Safety Awareness Month. All month, we will share ideas on how to keep the internet a safe resource for you and your family. See other articles about online safety.

What are social media sites?

  • Social networking sites are virtual communities.
  • Kids convene on these sites to chat, send messages (IM), post pictures, share music and videos, and tell stories.
  • They appeal to teens because they provide instant community, instant celebrity, and encompass so many online tools and entertainment activities that teens know and love.
  • They provide access to real-time and back-and-forth (asynchronous) communication features; blogging tools; photo-sharing, music-sharing, and video-sharing features; and the ability to post original creative work—all linked to a unique profile that can be customized and updated on a regular basis.

You may find the following resources from Internet Safety 101 helpful:

What benefits do you find in using social media? What have you found helpful to guide you and your family in safe and productive social media use? Enter a comment below.

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