SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) – For parents and their kids, technology has made staying in touch pretty easy, but it’s also just as easy to not know what your kids may be up to.
Social media can be a very helpful tool to keep in touch with friends and family, but it can also be a gateway to some very dangers sites, images, and even other people.
For teens, it’s easy to get swept up in the social media storm.
“Both of my friends that I have actually use – they have Snapchat, they have Instagram, Tik Tok, they have all of that stuff,” Seventh-grader at Memorial Middle School Jenna Mooney said.
“Actually, I use it a lot more than I probably should,” Seventh-grader at Memorial Middle School Jaytaya Ford said.
While some apps are used as a source of entertainment, they can also be used as a place for great harm, no matter what side of the screen you’re on.
“It can get negative like people can say things that they shouldn’t be saying. Or you use it too much and get distracted and you don’t do what your parents ask you to do,” Ford said.
An issue that creates concern from parents.
“My biggest fear is that someone will talk him into doing something that he knows is wrong,” Parent Julie Frank said.
Another danger that can be harmful or misleading is apps that trick young, unsuspecting teens; Something the faculty at Memorial Middle School is trying to help prevent.
“One of our goals is always education. And what we can share with parents and kids about ways that you can use it appropriately, and for parents just different things you can do to help monitor your kid’s use of social media,” Guidance Counselor at Memorial Middle School Annie Walker said.
They recently sent out a newsletter informing parents of several apps that can help parents keep up with their kids’ online status. One of the apps is called, “Safer kid.”
You can set a different time limit each day. You can pick sites to filter, so you can ban certain ones and allow certain other ones,” Walker said.
And some old-school techniques never go out of style.
“Every password is written down in a book, and we’re allowed to look at any time. So that’s our rule at our house and we do do it,” Frank said.
And while it’s incredibly easy to keep your eyes glued to the screen, there are a few kids who aren’t afraid to just put the phone down.
“I just – I like reading, honestly, much better but I just use it mostly so I can chat with my long distance friends,” Mooney said
Showing that even being social *offline can go a long way.
“You can’t handle things on your own all the time, and when someone’s bullying you or doing things they shouldn’t be doing, you have to tell a trusted adult or someone that you can trust as a friend,” Ford said.