Proper Tech Use and Social Media Manners

Social Media Manners
Rules for use of Internet, Phone, Texting, Emailing, Social Media Apps and so on…..

  1. We will always know the password to the phone and all social media and texting, posting, communicating apps.
  2. If it rings, answer it. It is a phone. Say Hello, use your manners.  Do not ever ignore a phone call if the screen reads, “Mom” or “Dad” or our phone numbers, not ever!!
  3. Hand the phone or iPod to one of your parents or put it in the approved locations, every school night and every weekend night. It will be shut off for the night and turned on again in the morning.  If you would not make a call to someone’s land line, wherein their parents may answer first, then do not call or text.  Listen to those instincts and respect other families like we would like to be respected.
  4. Have a conversation with the people you text in person. It is a life skill.
  5. If you have a problem with a person or a situation, call them directly or talk to them directly in person. Do Not text, email or use social media to discuss the situation with them or anyone else.
  6. Text, email and social media are for chit chat or sharing basic information – not for real conversations, conflict or anything serious.
  7. Do Not break up with someone or ask someone out via text, email or social media. Pick up the phone or meet in person (if you feel safe).  Have a real conversation.
  8. If it falls into the toilet, smashes on the ground, or vanishes into thin air, you are responsible for the replacement costs or repairs.
  9. Do not use this technology to lie, fool or deceive another human being.
  10. Do not involve yourself in conversations that are hurtful to others. Be a good friend first or stay out of the crossfire.
  11. Do not text, email or say anything through this device that you would not say in person.
  12. Nothing “disappears” in cyberspace. It is best to assume that anything you put out there via text, email, picture, Snapchat, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Kix, Google+ or any other app or program that is ever invented, will always be available for public viewing, no matter how hard you try to keep it private.  So do not send anything anywhere that you are not proud of.
  13. No inappropriate images of any kind of yourself or anyone else. Respect yourself and others and only view what is respectful to all people.  Even if someone else puts it out there, you do not have to look at it.  Never send or resend or view any inappropriate images of anybody or anything.  If you have a question about something that comes across your phone, ask us (your parents) don’t ask others or friends.  We will never be mad at you for asking us questions, even about difficult subjects.
  14. Turn it off, silence it, put it away in public. Especially in a restaurant, at the movies, or while speaking with another human being.  You are not a rude person; do not allow the phone or iPod to change that.
  15. Do not send or receive pictures of your private parts or anyone else’s private parts. Don’t laugh.  Someday you will be tempted to do this despite your high intelligence.  It is risky and could ruin your teenage/college/adult life.  It is always a bad idea.  Cyberspace is vast and more powerful than you.  And it is hard to make anything of this magnitude disappear – including a bad reputation.
  16. Don’t take a zillion pictures and videos. Be picky about what you record or take pictures of.  There is no need to document everything.  Live your experiences.  They will be stored in your memory for eternity.
  17. Leave your phone home sometimes and feel safe and secure in that decision. It is not alive or an extension of you.  Learn to live without it.  Be bigger and more powerful than the “Fear of Missing Out – FOMO”.
  18. Download music that is new or classic or different than the millions of your peers that listen to the same exact stuff. Like what you like and be secure in that and don’t worry about what everyone else if listening to.  Listen to music that will make you better.  Your generation has access to music like never before in history.  Take advantage of that gift.  Expand your horizons and think for yourself.
  19. Play a game with words or puzzles or brain teasers every now and then.
  20. If you are going to have such a device use it to read. You have access to so many online books, magazines, and interesting information.  Read!!!
  21. Keep your eyes up. See the world happening around you.  Stare out a window.  Listen to the birds.  Ride in the car and look around.  Observe people and things.  Take a walk.  Talk to someone.  Wonder without “Googling”
  22. You will mess up. I will take your phone, iPod etc. away. We will sit down and talk about it.  We will start over again.  You and I, we are always learning.  I am on your team.  We are in this together.

(Adapted from an online version of these rules shared by another parent and made to fit our family and our values.  Thanks to that person for giving me a starting place and some great ideas on which to build!   (I do not know the person’s name otherwise I would give them specific credit – My apologies.)

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