There are pressures teens face online at a critical time when they are exploring and developing their identity. Despite being able to talk to more people than ever before, online judgement and pressure to fit in with a vast number of people can limit young people’s ability to be themselves online.
Discuss what they enjoy and why (apps / Favourite vloggers/ website / social networks).
Talk about how and who they share their lives with online – make sure to touch on what they would and wouldn’t share.
Have a chat about what their online identity means to them and how they feel it reflects who they really are.
Discuss the issues they may face such as pressure to conform or encountering negativity and provide guidance and advice.
Get them to think critically about online and offline influences
Encourage them to think about the intentions behind what people share and be sure to check sources of information if they seem too good to be true.
Make sure they have a varied digital diet to ensure they are exposed to a range of ideas that will give them a balanced view of the world.
Encourage them to review their data and privacy
To ensure they stay in control of the information they share online, get them to regularly check who they are friends with online and what data they are showing on the platforms they use.
Doing a regular Google search on their name can be a simple way to manage what content is visible to everyone or remove content that may be incorrect or harmful to their reputation.
Highlight the importance of being #FreeToBe online
Discuss safe ways for them to stay authentic to who they are online. This could be only sharing certain content with people who offer positive encouragement and avoiding and reporting toxic environments online.
Stay engaged with what they do online
Have regular check-ins about what they do online to be better prepared to offer your support.
Steer them towards apps and platforms that will support their passions and help them express who they are.