Talking to Teens about Social Media

Before you speak, you are the master of your words. After you speak, your words become your master.

– Orchot Tzaddikim Ch. 21

The internet has a memory. Even deleted posts on Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and Twitter can be archived or screen-grabbed and shared—so it’s important that teens are encouraged to be thoughtful and self-aware on social media.

In Rosh Hodesh and Shevet Achim, our teen participants have the opportunity to figure out for themselves what is—or isn’t—okay to share on social media, guided by Jewish texts and a trained adult group leader.

Parents can get in on this work by reviewing this checklist with their teens—or creating one of their own—to guide teens’ social media habits.

Is it funny without being mean? Yes No
Do I know who can see this? Yes No
Can I imagine talking to my parents/other adults in my life about this post? Yes No
Would I like this if I saw someone else post it? Yes No
Would I say this to someone’s face? Yes No
This post can never really be deleted. Is it something I can live with forever? Yes No
Am I using this post to take a risk that I feel good about Yes No
Is this post contributing to people’s stereotypes about girls/boys? Yes No
When I look at my last ten posts, do I like the picture they paint of who I am? Yes No

 

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