Is Video sharing another online danger for parents to worry about? This week the Facebook owned photo sharing app, Instagram, announced it would add 15 second video sharing to rival Youtube, Vimeo and the Twitter owned, Vine. “Oh great, said many parents and experts. Another thing to worry about whilst our kids are online”. Another chance for them to be caught out doing something wrong. Another avenue for them to send videos they later regret. Another medium for shares and likes to send an embarrassing moment viral.
But should we be worried?
I guess I am more worried about the rubbishy videos that will clog my feed whilst still trying to keep an eye on what my kids and their friends are sharing. I can see lots of dancing selfies, basketball slamming, wannabe Australian Idol audition clips and more of the banter that goes back and forth between tweens and teens.
Yes there is certainly the possibility that videos can cause more damage to their precarious digital footprints.
I urge you however, not to lament these new additions.I ask you not to worry about every new site your child has the possibility of visiting. I implore you to stop fretting about your childs use of social networking sites.
Instead teach them how to use it.
Get on the sites with them.
Show them examples of stuff that should never have gone online.
Ask them questions about what they and their friends are posting and what it says about them.
Give them some good, creative and talented people to follow. Those that will make amazing 15 second videos. Those that take beautiful photos. Those that capture interesting moments from around the world.
And once again ask them to think for a good 30 seconds before they post anything.
Have them get in to the habit of asking themselves “Is there anyone in the world I don’t want to see this?” If the answer is yes, then you do not hit send.
I will continue to alert you to new sites, new apps, new trends and the new ways our kids are socialising online. I will continue to give you strategies to help control your childs use of technology. I will continue to alert you to the pitfalls to better prepare you to guide and teach.
I cannot however tell you to tell your kids to stop using social media and sharing sites. To do so would be irresponsible and unrealistic.
Instead, realise that a good majority of our kids will spend a good majority of time on these sites and others. We need to make sure that we have taught them as best we can, and that we continue to monitor their use to ensure safe and responsible online interactions.