The two giants of social media – Facebook and Twitter – are effective connectors on a large scale. Whereas before we could speak to our friends over the phone or via email, now we can engage in large, group conversations to entireties of multiple social circles on a whim.
So who may your child be connected to? School chums, sports friends, family, friends of friends, and the list goes on. It’s only natural that with these tools we stay connected with all of our social relations, even if direct contact is not made.
Teenagers and parties have been around since the dawn of time. However, adding Facebook and Twitter into the mix allows such parties to grow at an almost unbelievable rate.
Whereas before gatecrashers had to rely on word-of-mouth, it’s easy for unwanted individuals to get a whiff of conversation regarding a child’s party merely from a cursory glance at their iPhone. Add to the mix Facebook’s effective ‘Event’ functionality, and there’s potentially a recipe for disaster.
So how do parents take control of the matter, instead of leaving their children, their children’s friends, property, valuables and the surrounding neighbourhood’s safety to chance? After all, with Facebook and Twitter’s powerful functionality and following, it is easy for an intimate event to become a whole lot more public.
The first step would be for parents to have an understanding of the platforms. If the party is to be advertised to guests on either, then knowing the ins and outs of the services will allow you to better understand the potentials for risk.
Being involved in the social space allows you to see the positives and negatives that go hand in hand with both Facebook and Twitter. The simplest way to get an understanding of these platforms is to immerse yourself within the said environment.
Having said that, educating yourself is paramount to ensuring your child’s safety in regards to Facebook and Twitter. Further steps you can choose to take follow:
1. Make sure you are friends with your child on Facebook
2. If your child sets up an event to advertise their party, make sure you’re ‘invited.’ Better yet, become an admin of the event.
3. Ensure that the event is ‘private’ or invite-only.
Teens and parties can be a dangerous combination. Adding social media to the mix can potentially allow these gatherings to become a disaster. Getting involved with these platforms, as well as your teen’s event planning allows for a safer way for your child to enjoy themselves.