#BeingInformed

Sometimes as parents we get a little behind on the times on technology and how it works. However, our kids do not. They know exactly how to work the smartphones, computers, and tablets. This is why you, as the parent, need to put guardrails around your child or teenager's social life by being informed. 

With the way the world is today, it is next to impossible to keep a teenager off the internet completely. School systems, Colleges, and different work forces, all require internet use and a technological know-how. A teenager's social life also means a lot to them, and even though it is not necessarily best, it can be done with the proper guard-rails. 

Being informed is also important for husbands and wives. To make a marriage strong in today's present world, husbands and wives need to be accountable to each other and set certain rules. 

 

Things to be aware of:

YouTube

YouTube can be dangerous. It is used thousands of times a day for people to look up funny videos, songs, events, movies, documentaries, etc... However, a person can be researching an innocent video, but when the video is finished the suggestions at the end of the video could not be so innocent. Advertisements play before almost every video, and risque suggestions appear underneath and along side of the video being viewed. 

Suggestions: YouTube should only be in use in a public area of the house such as the living room. It should not be accessed privately on a teenagers phone. The youtube app can be deleted off of phones, or blocked/monitored by a parent or accountability partner. Husbands should not have YouTube access on their phones; If they need YouTube, they should use their wife's phone, where only one phone is monitored. 

Facebook

Facebook is one of the most commonly used social media sites worldwide. It is usually harmless, however friend lists need to be checked on a regular basis. Newsfeeds can be filled with pictures or statuses that may not be appropriate from the Facebook user's friends. "Like" pages also need to be checked. A company or phrase can be liked, but once it is, their pictures and advertisements appear in the newsfeed. Some of these "like pages" have been advertising porn sites on their timelines. It is easy for a teenager to be scrolling their newsfeed and see these sights on accident. Who your teenager is messaging needs to be monitored also.

Suggestions: Parents should have the password to their child's facebook page. The teenager will still have the freedom to have his or her page, but the parent needs to regularly check-up on who their child is talking to, the pictures they are seeing, and their "Likes". Husbands and wives need to have joint facebook accounts. If you choose not to merge, then husbands and wives need to have each other's passwords. These same methods can be used for Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn.

Snapchat

Snapchat is a way for people to take a picture of themself ( usually a silly one ), type up  a quick explanation of the picture, and send it to one of their fellow Snapchat users. The picture lasts on their friend's phone for several seconds, and then it dissapears for good. Because of the picture lasting only for a couple seconds, this is where a lot of teenagers, and adults alike get into trouble. They will send inappropriate pictures of themselves to friends thinking that it will remain private and only be seen for a few seconds. However, most people's phones have screenshots (where you can click two buttons simultaneously on your phone and it takes a shot of whatever is on your screen at the moment.) The Snapchat friends will take a screenshot of the picture sent, and then it is not so private anymore. Snapchat opens the door to what is called "Sexting". 

Suggestions: Delete the app. Ninety percent of Snapchat users get into trouble. If the user chooses not to delete, then girl users should only be Snapchatting girls and boys to boys. Beware of your friends and what you would trust them with. 

Smartphone Apps

Now days, most everyone has smartphones, and along with smartphones come with what's called Apps. Most apps have a familiar icon that lets you know immediately what that app is for, however there are programs that let you change your icon to have another picture. Someone can have an app for one thing, but the picture be of something else. 

Suggestions: Click on each of the apps in your child or spouses phone to make sure they are what they say they are. 

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