lto_picby Lynette Owens

4 Tips for Summer Fun with Social Media

As many schools are out for the year and families are headed for that beach vacation or family visit, I know many kids will be on the road with their phones in tow.

Here are a few things to think about and share with your kids before you head out:

  • Tell them where you’ve been, not where you are:  Have fun and snap lots of pics with your phone to share with friends and family, but think about posting them after you return.  It’s wise to not advertise that you’re away or tell the world exactly where you are.  Also, consider turning off the geo-location tagging on your phone’s camera. You can do this in the privacy settings of a phone.  No need to turn it off for all apps (like Google maps, for example), but by turning it off for the camera, you will not attach the specific location information of where your photos were taken.  Lastly, consider how you talk about your adventures – you can be enthusiastic without boasting.
  • Tag politely:  Tagging etiquette is always something to keep in mind, especially when on vacation with families and friends.   If you tag someone in a photo that you post, that person becomes subject to your privacy settings (whether or not you tag a user in your photo, your whole network may still see the image).  Respect other people’s privacy.  Some parents prefer not to have their children’s photos all over social networks.  So ask before you tag and post.
  • Be a vocal fan:  This summer, you may be visiting a new city, watching the World Cup, enjoying summer camp, or attending a concert of your favorite artist.  Tweet about, friend, or follow them on social media and let them and your friends/family know how much you like them.  Since they know and trust you, they may consider it for their own future plans.
  • Keep in touch, but sometimes let go:  It’s great to stay connected with friends and family back home, but think about those you’re with now.  Constantly texting and chatting with far away friends will take you away from what you’re doing.  It will also drain precious battery power that you’ll need to capture photos and videos of your adventures.

During the summer holidays, remember to have fun and do things you can’t normally do during the school year.   It’s absolutely fine to share what you’re doing with far-away friends and family on social media, but do it in a healthy, safe, and balanced way.

Lynette Owens

Lynette Owens

Lynette Owens is Vice President of Global Consumer Education & Marketing at Trend Micro and Founder of the Internet Safety for Kids and Families program. With 25+ years in the tech industry, Lynette speaks and blogs regularly on how to help kids become great digital citizens. She works with communities and 1:1 school districts across the U.S. and around the world to support online safety, digital and media literacy and digital citizenship education. She is a board member of the National Association for Media Literacy Education, an advisory committee member of the Digital Wellness Lab, and serves on the advisory boards of INHOPE and U.S. Safer Internet Day.

Follow her on Twitter @lynettetowens.