By now, most parents are familiar with the term “selfie”, and many have even taken and shared selfie photos. It’s become a cultural norm that simply cannot be ignored or avoided. Just take a look on any social media site, and you’re bound to come across photos that the profile holder has taken of themselves, and this is especially true of younger people. Kids and teens are taking selfies and sharing them with the world, but what, if any, are the consequences or drawbacks? Let’s take a look at what parents need to know about selfie safety, and how child monitoring may be the best solution to protecting your kids.
Why do kids love selfies?
Selfies can often be harmless fun, which is one reason why kids love them so much. Kids are able to express their mood, and share a photo that shows them at a particular place or event. It allows them to share an image of themselves that they have taken and chosen, giving them a sense of control. They get to take the image that they like best, upload it instantly, and get immediate feedback and gratification from their peers.
Adolescents are often seeking approval from others in their peer group. It’s natural for people of all ages to want to present their best self, and for adolescents and teens, who are seeking to find their identity, selfies allow them to shape and form the image and identity that they want to project.
When can a selfie cause a problem?
Selfies can become an issue when they start to have a negative impact on a child’s self-esteem. Just as selfies can help to boost someone’s confidence by bringing them positive attention, they can also bring kids down when they don’t generate a good response. Kids can be targeted by bullies, and they can also become overly-critical of their own appearance.
If you find your child taking many photos and obsessing over the way that they look and how they dress, it’s time to intervene. You may observe your child making critical remarks about their body or physical features. They may become preoccupied with their appearance, and constantly striving to put out pictures of themselves that they feel are a better representation of the image that they want to project.
What parents can do
As a parent, it’s very important that you take the time to monitor what your child is sharing on their social media profiles. Parents should use selfie monitoring to make sure that the selfies kids are taking with their cell phones and sharing with others are appropriate. This is possible with Family Orbit for Android or iOS devices.
Talk to your kids about their social media habits, and discuss with them the importance of limiting the amount and types of images that they share. Once a photo is on the internet, it can’t be taken back. It can be difficult for young people to understand that there are long term consequences to what they put out on the web, so it’s up to parents to take charge and help kids protect themselves.
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