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Raising Tech-Savvy Kids: The Intersection of Social Media and Strategic Parenting

January 2024 begins a new journey in leading The Parent Project course for Heartland 180! I'm excited to interact with parents on many topics of parenting (which is the hardest thing to do on the planet).

In Unit 3 of Parent Project we discuss social media, cell phone, technology, apps, and so on in regards to how we parent our youth. I thought I'd add some out of text book information on this topic in today's blog to assist in parent discussions with their youth.

Ideas and tips are largely noted from the book The Teen's Guide to Social Media & Mobile Devices: 21 Tips to Wise Posting in an Insecure World by Jonathan McKee.

Here are some random things McKee offers to consider when your teen posts online. When youth post online or on social media these posts DON'T magically disappear. Posts and pictures can come back to haunt a young adult or young parent who has eventually grown up. Posts leave lasting impressions on potential bosses or other entities seeking future employees. According to Jobvite's annual Social Recruiting Survey, 93% of hiring managers will evaluate job candidates social media profile BEFORE hiring. Posts that scared employers away: 83% of recruiters said mentioning or even joking about illegal drugs is a strong turn off, foul language offended the majority, 44% didn't like seeing any posts about alcohol, and 66% said spelling and grammar were a huge factor in non-hire options.

The bottom line is that posting a picture or a rant on social media leaves lasting impressions. For youth in middle school and high school a funny post or rant on social media may just be "funny" or release frustrations, but for future implications in regards to employment or even personal relationships, these posts have lasting implications. As I often relay to youth here at H180, "your decisions determine your destiny." I hope this parent post can help you in future discussions with your teen on social media posting and provide cautions for your teen and their decisions. ~ Matthew Zimmer, Parent and Family Support Coordinator for Heartland 180.


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