Growing up and entering your teen years has completely altered in past decade. While you get more advantages as technology progresses, it is handed with great responsibility. Many teens have discovered the harsh consequences of social media when it is handled carelessly. We’ve gathered our top tips of surviving your teen years and maintaining friendships in the digital age.
1. Do Chat with Your Friends on Social Media
If your parents are okay with you having a social media account, enjoy it! Add your friends and chat online—it’s part of being a teen in the midst of modern technology. However if you do not want a social media account or a smartphone, that’s totally fine as well! Teens previous years have done it, you can do it too. Do not feel pressured to keep up with technology or do what’s considered “cool.”
2. Don’t Accept Requests of People You Don’t Know
I cannot stress enough the importance of not accepting friend requests or chatting with people online that you do not know in real life. There could be a possibility that the person is not who they say they are, which is a term known as “catfished.” If the person is trying to get personal information out of you or wanting to meet up, don’t trust them.
3. Do Share Posts of Your Friends and Family
Share post with your friends and family of memorable events, achievements you’ve accomplished, or just news in general. However, there does become a point where you could be over sharing online. Do not give out extremely personal information or over share. People do not need to know about the tiny details of your every day life.
4. Don’t Share Inappropriate Content or Vent on Social Media
My rule is if you don’t want your grandma to see it, don’t post it on social media. Stay away from posting anything that could humiliate or emotionally hurt a friend or acquaintance. You may not realize the damage it can cause, so think before you post.
Also, it’s important not to vent directly or passive aggressively on social media. It will only stir unnecessary gossip or drama within friendships. It is very immature and you will literally get nothing out of it.
5. Do Make Time to Hang with Friends
Create a group chat with all of your friends and use it as a tool to communicate and plan out times that you want to meet up. It’s nice to spend time with friends outside of the online world.
6. Don’t Be Glued to Your Phone
Have you ever spent time with a friend and he or she was so attached to their phone that you felt like they were not listening? It’s extremely disrespectful to be with friends or family and only give them half of your attention. That tweet or text can wait, so put down your phone and spend quality time with the ones you love.
Of course, there are exceptions. It’s fine to pick up your cell to take a picture or answer a text. However, when it becomes excessive, it makes the person you’re spending time with feel unimportant. Be mindful of their feelings.
Technology and social media is as a tool to for friends and family to share information and connect, not spread gossip or over share. So think twice before you post and trust your gut feelings.
Cover image courtesy of Shutterstock.