Parents Can’t Afford To Ignore Their Kids’ Social Media

Parents Can’t Afford To Ignore Their Kids’ Social Media

To those around him, Jaylen Ray Fryberg seemed like a normal high school freshman. He was well liked and happy, played on the football team and had recently been crowned Homecoming Prince. Around family, friends and classmates, Fryberg gave off the impression that he was a typical, upbeat teen.

That’s why those who knew him were shocked to learn that Fryberg entered his high school cafeteria and opened fire on his classmates, killing one before taking his own life. That was not the Fryberg they knew.

But only after the tragic events of his death was another side of Fryberg revealed — through his Twitter account. The happy, friendly disposition that Fryberg gave off during in-person contact was starkly different than the way he appeared on Twitter. In the weeks leading up to the shooting, Fryberg’s Twitter feed was filled with disturbing updates where he openly expressed anger, sadness and aggression.

While his page was filled with updates that clearly indicated the teenager was going through something really troubling, no one realized this until it was too late. Fryberg’s tragedy reminds us just how important it is for parents to connect with their children in their social media worlds in order to see all sides and spot problems early on.

Looks for Signs of Distress that May Not Be Visible In Real Life

Friends said the Fryberg they saw in person and the Fryberg they saw on Twitter seemed like two different people. On the day of his ominous final tweet, (“it won’t last…. It’ll never last….”), one of his classmates said that Frybeg was “all fine” at football practice that day.

As parents, we need to realize that how our kids act in front of us may not tell their full story. We need to keep our eyes open to underlying issues and use social media as a window into what our kids are really thinking and feeling.

Remember That Your Kids May Have More Than One Account on the Same Platform

It’s easy to set up multiple usernames on the same social media platform. So be mindful of this when reviewing your child’s account. If you notice that they are not active on the account you know about, ask them if they are using another. Pay attention to their friends and notice if they are tagging or communicating with your child at another username.

Check the Direct Messages To and From Your Child

Not all social media is public. Remember to check private messages that your child is sending and receiving. Look for communication that could be hurtful to both parties. Stopping your child from sending hurtful messages to other children is also part of your job in protecting your child from dangerous situations.

Related: Social Media, Bully and What You Can Do to Help

Don’t Wait Until It’s Too Late — Connect to Your Child’s Social Media Life Now

As a parent, you should connect to all of your child’s social media accounts and regularly monitor how they are using those sites. You can use a platform like MamaBear Family Safety App which to receive notifications when they get new followers and friends, easily view photos uploaded and set alerts for certain language and phrases.

It is our job as parents to know what is going on in our children’s lives offline and online. So don’t look the other way when it comes to social media and connect with your child now using a social media monitoring platform like MamaBear App which is available for both iPhones and Androids.

MamaBear Family Safety App Now Includes Twitter Monitoring

twitter monitoring

Parents with kids that use Twitter to follow celebrities and tweet to their friends (and strangers) now have a tool to help them know more about their kid’s activity on the popular social network.

MamaBear Family Safety App’s new version 2.8 for iOS and 2.5 for Android  features a new update offering parents the ability to monitor their children’s activity on Twitter.

Popular with people of all ages and especially with celebrities and their fans, Twitter is a social “microblogging” app through which users can write, read and share 140-character “tweets” on any subject. While Twitter offers privacy settings that allow users the option to approve follow requests, the default setting allows anyone can follow and see what a person tweets. So a child who uses Twitter without setting the account to private is sharing his or her messages with millions of Twitter users around the world.

See Also: Protecting Kids from Internet Stranger Danger

This can be unnerving for parents worried about who can see what their kids share via twitter – especially if they use hashtags with certain words (e.g. “Headed to #MainStreetMall 2day with my gurls”), because a hashtag before a word makes that word/phrase searchable by any Twitter user as a common filtering option.

The new MamaBear Twitter update allows parents to monitor their child’s Twitter account for restricted words, who’s following them and who they’re following.

By using all social monitoring features on MamaBear 2.8 for iOS and 2.5 for Android, parents will save time and keep their children safe staying “in the know” with information from their child’s Twitter, Facebook and Instagram all at once.

Stay in touch and let us know what you think of MamaBear by emailing us at info@localhost.  Your feedback is critical in our mission to protect children.