Social Media. Those two words can speak volumes. We live in a “social media” world now. Everything we see, do, hear, has something to do with social media. From Facebook to Instagram, socializing with people from all over the world, has never been easier than it is today.
Or as dangerous.
Teens today can be social butterfly’s without even talking to someone in person. They are a blessed generation, because they literally, have the world at their fingertips. I love social media. I am constantly on Facebook and Twitter. As a Youth Pastor, I use those tools to keep in touch with my youth, post upcoming events info, sermon links, etc.
Having said all that, I have a request: Parents, do yourself a favor and monitor your kids’ social media accounts.
I know of several kids who have both Facebook and Twitter accounts, but mainly use Twitter because their parents are on Facebook and don’t use Twitter. I see it all the time; a teen will post something nice on Facebook, knowing their parents could see it, and then drop a tweet full of f-bombs and incriminating photos on Twitter…and don’t even get me going about Snapchat!
You, as a parent, have every right to monitor what goes on with your kid. My wife and I are constantly checking up on our kids’ social media accounts, including their text messages from their phones. Think they will just delete all their messages so we don’t see it? Think again! My wife constantly and randomly will grab my kids’ phones to do text checks…and if ANYTHING has been deleted (cause we all know kids text 24/7, so there should be messages-a-plenty in their phones) then the phone goes bye-bye.
I constantly browse my kids’ Twitter and Facebook accounts. They’re also REQUIRED to give us passwords to all their accounts, when we ask for them. Now, we have great kids, so we don’t (shouldn’t) have anything to worry about, but in this day and age, you can never be too cautious.
I hear parents all the time though, say they don’t want to invade their kids’ privacy. Honestly, that’s a bunch of bull. Too many parents want to be best friends with their kids and not be parents. As long as my kids live in my house AND we have to pay the bills for the internet and phone, then we will check and invade their privacy as much as it takes.
So parents, do yourself a favor and monitor your kids’ social media accounts (and phone messages). They have the world at their fingertips, but so does everyone else out there. So keep your kids safe, and be a parent…not a buddy.
Kenny Bowyer is a Youth Pastor at the Cutting Edge in Chouteau, Oklahoma, and is also the author of the teen devotional “A Moment With God: A Teen Devotional” and the football devotional, “Pass Protection”.