“Your phone is not your problem. The problem is when we let our phone captivate us so significantly with the unimportant that we ignore the important all around us.”
Parents today are raising teenagers in an entirely different world than has ever existed. The connections with the Internet, Wifi, smartphones and social media have created new avenues for both good and bad things to happen and have created more pressure for teens and parents to find the best way to balance it all. In The Teen’s Guide to Social Media: 21 Tips to Wise Posting in an Insecure World, Jonathan McKee takes both parents and teens through practical ways to approach the world of social media without running away to an island.
I heard about The Teen’s Guide to Social Media while listening to a Focus on the Family podcast about cultivating wise tech habits in teens. I was impressed enough that I bought the book, knowing I have just a few years before I have several teens in my house. One already has an iPad and wants to know when she can get on social media. It will be a while, but I know we will have to have an intelligent discussion about it when the day comes.
The Teen’s Guide to Social Media is broken down into 21 short chapters, each dealing with an aspect of social media like location settings, knowing posts are never temporary or anonymous, being active in life, taking time away from tech and dealing with criticism. Each topic is very applicable to life today and each chapter ends with questions to ponder and something to think about. The book lends itself to parents and teens reading it together and talking about the topics, which is probably the best way to handle social media anyway. I do like that he encourages teens to be “friends” with their parents on social media to help keep themselves accountable.
The Teen’s Guide to Social Media is geared toward high school age teens as it does delve into how creepy people can access things on social media and talks about the dangers of porn. I’m not ready for my preteen to read most of the chapters, but I can pick and choose the ones that are appropriate for her age and her level of technology access. I am glad to have this book on my shelf. It’s a good complement for The Grown-Ups Guide to Teenage Humans by Josh Shipp.