Social media is an awesome thing and it’s a great way to connect with students, but it also has its downfall as well. It can be a gigantic time-waster and it can take you away from the face-to-face conversation you’re having with someone. And like anything else, something really good can be used by people for some really bad things. Following up on yesterday’s post I wanted to blog today about more tips about social media.
- When you’re having a one-on-one conversation or lunch with a student, don’t take your phone out and start thumbing through Facebook or Instagram or Twitter. It’s like telling the person you’re with at the time, “Sorry, I have something more important than you right now.”
- By the same token, during small group time or time together with my small group guys I’ll ask them to put their phones or iPads away for now. I want them to be in the conversation with the group, not looking to see the latest Instagram picture of a plate of food that one of their friends posted.
- Teens should only talk to and “friend” people they know. I had a student in a small group that thought he had “friended” a teenage girl, only to find out it was a fake profile.
- Parents, check the messages your teens get. If you don’t have your kid’s password, at random times ask them to show you their messages or their Facebook page. It’s easy for them to “hide” certain contacts or posts where you can’t see them unless you’re logged in to their profile.
- If I’m going to post pictures of my small group guys, I show them the picture first. Remember with teenagers image is a big deal. If they don’t like how they look in a picture or their facial expression etc. I’ll take another picture. Maybe to some teens this is no big deal but to others it’s a HUGE deal.
I let parents know my social media pages and I “friend” them so they can see me and my life and what I post. I don’t post any political stuff or anything that I think might offend someone. It’s not worth it to me to post something that might get a laugh from some, but have others lose faith in me or in God because of something I post. Remember, perception is reality and as leaders we need to hold ourselves to a higher standard.