I’m raising two sons in the digital age where information flows
freely and I can’t monitor all of their online activity. Recent reports showed
that Angelina Jolie hired an Internet-monitoring expert to protect her children
when they are online. For the rest of us without the funds to hire a cyber baby
sitter, we have to be a little more creative than that.
I can’t really control what my children
do outside of sitting behind them when they’re online. But then again, they
have smart phones and are known to go to bed and watch YouTube videos under the
covers until they fall asleep. Instead of trying to be the Internet police, I
had to learn to trust my sons to be the best at who they can be and to know
how to process the things they are introduced to in this world.
They have to make decisions for themselves. They have to learn
how to represent themselves and the consequences of their decisions. We can’t
live their lives for them, but we can be models and conduct ourselves as we would
like them to and help them build confidence in their decision-making. I invited
my two sons Saidon (14) and Solomon (12) to come up with a list of rules for Internet use that will keep kids safe and moms from flipping out.
If I don’t think (Mom) would laugh about it, I don’t post it.
1. On Instagram
Set your Instagram to private so if someone wants to follow you,
you can look at their Instagram before you allow them to follow you. Only follow
the people you know.
For example, I go on my Instagram and I have two new follower requests: one
from someone I know and one from someone I don’t know. I allowed the person I
know to follow me but the other person had a private page. I sent him a friend
request; two days went by and he didn’t let me follow him, so I didn’t let him
follow me. See what they are about before you let them follow you.
2. On Snapchat
You shouldn’t Snapchat with anyone you don’t know because that’s weird.
3. On Facebook
Make your page private and only use it for apps and games that
require a Facebook log-in.
4. When taking selfies
I don’t post selfies personally, but I do post cool pictures of
shoes and food. I generally try not to post personal pictures where people can
see where I am, especially my house.
5. Don’t post anything your mom won’t laugh at.
Most kids won’t want to be friends with their mom on social
sites but I follow my family and she follows me on everything and I don’t mind.
I can generally share the funniest videos with her and I know she sees most of
what I post. If I don’t think she would laugh about it, I don’t post it.