Getting Social: Teens & Social Media

I’m on Twitter (as you might know), and I follow a wonderful man (whom I have never had the privilege to meet in person) named David Hood.   He lives in Australia, and I follow him on Twitter because I like what he has to say, and I like what he is asking of the world, and I like where he seems to want the world to go to.  We’re just tweeps to one another, and I learn alot about the world through his eyes.

Last night, David tweeted about how his friend’s daughter (a 16 year old) was actively engaged in conversations on her Facebook profile with her friends in ways that could negatively impact her reputation and future.  He asked the folks who follow him on Twitter to share some resources about teaching teens about the importance of maintaining a good online identity. Since I’m working away on my presentation for Monday on cyberbullying, I’ve been looking up a lot about teens being online, so I thought I’d share this information with you all too.  Thanks to David for openly asking the question, which has spurred me to share this information!

I remember in the small town in Vermont that I worked in, that the local police were using Facebook and MySpace to track the location of underage drinking parties (often happening in the woods).  I also remember the local high school scandal: when a number of student athletes were featured drunk in a video after they had won a major game, and faced the consequences sicne some of them were all a part of a club that focused on abstinence from drugs and alcohol.  So I understand first hand about how teens can cause a lot of trouble for themselves through their online identities.

For Parents

Learn more about how teens/tweens are using social media from

A quick comparison between tweens/teens use versus moms. A great tool for starting a dialogue between yourself and your child!

Also, a comprehensive study about teens and social media.

The Anti-Drug has some great information.

America’s Most Wanted offers their own tips.

Federal Trade Commission offers tips about protection for teens/tweens on social networking sites. 

This toolkit was developed for Libraries, but has some interesting information about educational benefits of social networking.

This blog, The Barking Robot, offers a number of really great resources as well.

For Tweens & Teens

Quick Tips from Connect Safely

Teen Health (


OnGuardOnline (from the Federal Trade Commission)- includes a bunch of games like “ID Theft Faceoff” and “Spam Scam Slam”

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