Teachable Moment: Teaching Teens Social Media Responsibility

April 10, 2019
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Courtesy: Pixabay
Hindi naman lingid sa ating kaalaman na ang daming scandals na lumalabas ng mga nakaraang araw. Minsan mapapaisip ka na lang na ang social media imbis na maging platform for positivity and inspiration ay nagiging means na ngayon to destroy the reputation of others or spread negativity like violence and sex. Nakalulungkot, 'di ba? It's so stressful to scroll down posts nowadays.

I also had the tendency to rant on social media before but I realized that if I had nothing good to say, I should reflect and keep quiet instead. I believe that what you do or share is a reflection of who you are as a person and not the other party involved.

I have seen so many videos of sex scandals but it's not my habit to share or repost them on social media. I believe that everyone deserves to be respected and not sharing them shows that I respect myself. Everybody commits mistakes. Everybody's not perfect. We should refrain from lifting ourselves by stepping on someone. Kahit saang anggulo tingnan, mali ang iangat ang sarili habang hinihila pababa ang iba, 'di ba? 

As a parent, instead of wasting my time reading comments and opinions about those scandals or joining the forum, I teach my teen-aged son these:

Use the social media responsibly. 
Kapag may nakikita akong posts niya na funny pero nakasasakit sa kapwa, sinasabihan ko talaga siya na i-delete. I always tell him that some memes or posts may be funny to someone but may also be hurtful for others. I also tell him that he should not share videos or photos that can destroy the reputation of others. I always encourage him to choose wisely what to post.

Never engage in conversations that don't conform with his values just to belong or be called "cool". I always tell my son to stick with his values even though he is the only one doing it. 

Never take a video or snapshot of his body or personal affairs just for private consumption. Accidents may happen. In just one click it may spread on social media and can never be retracted or deleted permanently in the internet at maaaring makita pa ng kaapu-apuhan niya sa hinaharap. In just one mistake, his reputation is going to be at stake. Mahirap nang ibalik ang reputasyong nasira.

Be kind, empathic, respectful, and prudent aside from being responsible.
Our world is full of negativity and he must be one of those people who should stop spreading it. I tell him that in every action there is always a consequence so he has to think before he acts. "Makasasakit ba ako ng kapwa kapag pinost ko ito? Ano kaya ang mararamdaman ko kung sa akin gagawin ang gagawin ko?"

Parents, let us teach our kids to be good and concerned with other people's feelings and reputation. Let's teach them to share what is good. Let's make it a point to sit down with them and talk about social media responsibility. Let us protect them from committing the mistakes of others. Let us teach and guide them by example.

Courtesy: Caribbean Love, Voices of Africa Foundation, Amazon, and Popgoesthepatronus @tumbler

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