We currently live in a world where talking to other people is a simple as clicking on a button and then typing “Hello!”
When I was young, meeting up with friends meant asking permission from my parents to use the phone, then dialling numbers as long as the ones we dial abroad now, before hoping that your friend was actually at home. And if any of your friends were going to be late, it was a group decision on whether you would wait any longer for their arrival.
In 2017, there are currently in excess of 60 Social networking websites and messaging apps that we spend most of our days on; chatting, finding out people’s views, arguing about those views and more often than not, discussing how we feel about life in general.
Sites include; Facebook, Snapchat, WhatsApp, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Reddit, to name a few, but the list goes on.
Each of these social sites will continue to evolve, so that they can gain more and more followers. Of course, the most popular of these is definitely Facebook, which currently has around 2.7 billion members. The more members that they have, the greater the amount of money they can generate through advertising.
With fast developing technology comes more dangers to be wary of and sadly, it’s not just the social site ‘techies’ who work on keeping one step ahead of the rest. Children using social media, may at some point be faced with certain risks and must therefore be aware of how to recognise communicators with potentially negative intentions.
So, whilst we as parents, teachers and Education Guardians can only monitor our children for a fraction of the day whilst we teach them, get them to complete homework, we can’t be there ALL of the time! What can we do to ensure their safety and our peace of mind?
Here are a few ideas to help ensure that you can send your child safely to school with the sort of technology that none of us ‘oldies’ will ever understand;
Firstly it is important for children to be able to identify possible risks and to teach them how to share their concerns.
In a mobile age, children can’t be completely protected, even by the best privacy controls; another child may use different settings. So it’s important to keep talking to your child about the implications of social media. Getting a sense of what they think is a useful place to start; you may be surprised by how much thought they may have given to the issues.
The NSPCC (The National Society for the Protection and Care of Children) offer clear guidance for parents to help in ensuring their children’s safety. These include:
International students studying in UK Boarding Schools may be new to some of the popular UK apps and the risks that come with them, so advice can be sought from their Houseparents at school, or from their UK based guardian.
Click here to find further guidance on The NSPCC website, which includes how you can report inappropriate online activity. If your child is enrolled on the Bright World Guardianships programme and you would like to seek advice then please contact your Guardianship Care Manager.
Casper Jones, Bright World Guardianship Care Manager
Posted on September 15th, 2017 @ 12:02 AM