Parents would be wise to monitor child’s social media use

Published 7:00 am Thursday, July 13, 2017

Social media websites are powerful tools.

You can find long lost classmates, distant cousins and new friends via these platforms.

But with each passing year, it seems more and more warnings are being issued, especially urging parents to monitor the use of these sites by children.

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Many adults can remember a time when social media wasn’t a term. Interacting with other people typically took place face to face, either in the lunchroom, during breaks between classes or in the parking lot of a business that didn’t call the cops on loiterers.

Now, sites like Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and Myspace, dominate the way adults and children interact with each other. With that new format comes a plethora of new dangers.

In addition to making sure your password is not stolen and you don’t share too much personal information, you need to ensure children are not being approached by predators who wish them some other sort of harm or bullied by fellow classmates.

Now, parents are being warned of another hazard, the Blue Whale Challenge. Apparently the challenge tasks social media users to perform 50 daily “challenges” before ending their life.

The “challenges” are said to range from watching clips from horror movies to posting photos of self-mutilation.

While police investigating the suspected suicide of a Dallas, Texas teen who committed suicide have not said they suspect the challenge is responsible for the boy’s death, his parents have a different story.

It’s our hope that each and every person in Pearl River County will assess their child’s use of social media to monitor for activity that could be indicative of mental health issues.

If evidence is found before the teen or young adult takes it to the next step, then the parents can take the appropriate action to not only avert a tragedy, but most of all let their children know they are loved and their life should be cherished.