5 Ways to Help Kids Communicate Well on Social Media

The Gospel Coalition | 7/23/2019 | William P. Smith
Night987 (Posted by) Level 3
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I’m so thankful for the delete option when I’m second-guessing one of my social media posts. Surely I’m not alone. Perhaps it was the content of what you said or how you said it or the visual you attached, but haven’t we all put something out there we wish we hadn’t?

What’s true for adults is that much more true for our kids.

Media - Dimensions - Communication - Interactions - Impact

Social media add dimensions to communication that make it different from face-to-face interactions. Ignore the impact of those dimensions, and you and your child will say and do things you regret. Understand the virtual world’s challenges, however, and you and your child can turn them into catalysts for personal growth and developing stronger relationships.

Let’s consider three significant ways in which social media is different from face-to-face interaction.

First - Media - Platforms - People - Opinions

First, some social media platforms are anonymous. You engage people you haven’t necessarily met personally and who you probably never will. Since their opinions affect you less than those of people you run into on a regular basis, you’re less careful with what you say to them online than you are in person.

Second, there isn’t immediate embodied feedback to tell you what effect your words and actions are having. When we talk directly to someone, we see how we’ve affected them when they smile, frown, look embarrassed, get upset, laugh, cry, keep talking, or turn and walk away. Social media keeps us blind to those effects by inserting spatial distance between people—and what’s out of sight is often out of mind.

Third - Feedback - Loop - Favors - Humans

Third, the feedback loop favors extremes. Humans want to know that they matter to others, that their thoughts and actions have some effect and are not meaningless. But how can you feel like you matter if you can’t see anyone else? You have to rely on indirect feedback through replies, comments, and emoji...
(Excerpt) Read more at: The Gospel Coalition
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