We're all learning how to get along together online
Social networks (like Facebook) and blogging sites (like Twitter and Tumblr) let us socialise online like never before. But just like in your real life, in your digital life there are certain dos and don’ts that guide how to behave.
There's a young generation of "digital natives" who simply don't know a world before wireless internet, Google, YouTube or Facebook – they're very free and easy with what they share online, and this can jar with their parents' naturally more cautious values and standards of behaviour.
Everyone, from grannies to grandkids, is learning how to get along together as they start to live more of their lives online. The seismic change in how we're socialising can be a lot to get your head around, but try to enjoy it. It opens the door to new friends, fresh experiences and ways of communicating with the people you love.
If your child invites you into their digital life via a friend request, embrace it but don't meddle. Remember, grandparents had no such intimate access to the daily lives of today's parents when they were younger – it's a privilege to be nurtured.
Obviously the decision is ultimately yours but, for those unsure how to act, we're here to help you get the most out of being social online.
We've written a few tips for you to share with your younger social networkers so they can squeeze as much as possible out of their time online. It's worth sparing a couple of minutes to remind them:
- In many cases anyone, anywhere, can see what you've posted. So be careful what you say!
- Check your privacy settings – all social networks and blog platforms have them. Make sure they're set at the level you want: private/friends only, friends of friends or public.
- Think twice about that picture you're posting. Could it embarrass others? Would you want to see it on the front page of a newspaper?
- Be careful who you share information with. Are your online friends real friends? The nature of friendship is changing but don't forget your common sense the moment you log on.