Everything your child publicly posts online is being recorded and archived. And that information could wreak havoc on your child’s future.
In the past, decisions to hire an employee were based on the information listed on their resume, a few phone calls, and an in-person interview. That’s about it.
Today, I don’t know a single HR department that doesn’t conduct a thorough Google and/or Facebook search on every job applicant — before they even read the entire resume.
What sort of social media guidelines do you need to create in order to protect your children and ensure their successful future? Here are some suggestions to get you started. Decide what social media networks your children can use. Networks come and go so you’ll need to make periodic adjustments to what’s on the “approved” list. As a starting point, the current top social networks you can start looking at are; Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Foursquare, What topics can they talk about? Or to simplify, what topics can’t they talk about?
Aside from the information they personally post online, think about establishing guidelines for the types of situations your children should avoid. Situations where other people (friends, bystanders, and even boyfriends and girlfriends) can easily take photos, audio, and video of your children and post it on a social network. Even if your children aren’t the subject of the photo, their mere presence could still be damaging.
Monitoring is your friend Once you’ve decided on some ground rules, it’s time to think about how you’re going to monitor their social media travels.
Are you going to Friend them on Facebook? Follow them on Twitter? Set up Google alerts or perhaps use a social media monitoring tool?
You have a lot of options and tools available to you — and you should consider using them. Because your children will be online. They will be connecting with friends and posting more information in the future than we can even imagine.
And as much as the Internet can provide a wealth of knowledge, interaction and entertainment. It can also be the equivalent of digital quicksand that consumes everything that falls into it — including your child’s online reputation.
Have you considered creating social media guidelines for your children? What suggestions do you have?
How much information are we sharing?