Did you know that 22% of teenagers log into social media more than 10 times a day?

That’s a lot of time to spend online, but it’s definitely a norm these days.

If you’re concerned about your grandchildren spending that amount of time online, connecting in a digital age through technology that you are not part of, you aren’t alone.

Do you have your own social media yet?

One way to keep an eye on your grandchildren and their social media use is to have your own profiles.

You don’t need to be everywhere you grandchild is, but just knowing that you are supporting them through a platform they enjoy will mean a lot to them.


Tracking Your Grandchild’s Social Media

Social media is used by teenagers and young adults for a myriad of reasons.

Most often social media is used for digital connection to friends (instead of lengthy phone calls of the past), or to keep in contact with old friends who have moved (instead of infrequent letters).

Other uses of social media may include school needs, as some classes have Facebook pages for students to pose questions about assignments or ask for help.

Tracking social media use by your grandchildren is easiest when you have your own pages on the social media platforms they use most. Add your grandchildren as friends to gain access to their pages. You will be able to see their posts, assuming they don’t block you or hide posts. You will also be able to see photos they are tagged in or memes their friends tag them in.

You may make your own page on any social media platform. Such platforms include Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, Tumblr, Pinterest, and more that are built all the time.

Most newer social media platforms exist only for a little while as a fad, but the platforms that have been around for a few years are probably going to remain for quite some time. Those are the platforms you will want to focus on.


What to Include in Your Profile

Social media profiles can have as much or as little content as you choose to share. There are definitely some basic points you will want to include though.

For example, several social media sites – especially Facebook – are moving to make sure legal names are the only ones displayed on profiles.

Another item that are good to have is a profile picture of you.

Yes, you have the option to post photos of your family or other objects as your profile picture, but in that case it is less likely that people will add you as a friend.

You should include your birthday on your profile, so that your friends may wish you a happy birthday. Other information you have the option to include makes it easier for old friends to reconnect, like where you went to school and your hometown.

There are some items it is not advisable to post online to social media pages. These include where you currently live (particularly for younger users) and when you are going on vacation. Even if your profile is private, there are some situations where people who are not your friend could see that information. When you tag friends in posts, their friends can see that information too.


How to Report Content on Social Media

Most social media platforms allow users to report content as inappropriate for a number of reasons. Facebook frames reporting content as “giving feedback,” after which you can still report content if you desire.

Reasons you can give in Facebook’s reporting process include nudity, violence, harassment, self-injury, spam, hate speech, or unauthorized sales. In the case of self-injury fears, Facebook advises the reporter to contact emergency services.

Twitter and Instagram also have ways to report inappropriate content, but each social media platform has its own way of dealing with reports. For more information on platform specific processes to report content, familiarize yourself with the Help pages on any social media platform you are looking into.

Reporting content is becoming easier with each update of social platforms. At the same time, the platforms are getting better at dealing with inappropriate content as a result of better reports.

Social media continues to make itself better when it listens to the users.


Using Social Media as a Grandparent

Parenting today has so many more fronts to keep an eye on with every new platform that kids join.

As a grandparent, you are able to lend a helping hand in watching your grandchildren’s social pages.

Help even more by having discussions about appropriate online content and behavior, and watch your grandchildren make the online world better.

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