Minding your language

Teenagers swear. That’s a fact. And even if they aren’t doing it within your earshot, many seem to be of the belief that swearing online is OK. But it’s really not OK – particularly when they’re going for their first job, or a college or university interview, and someone’s decided to check out their profile on the Internet first.

Today, with dozens of young people often going after one job, recruiters and employers need reasons to rule people out. If they’re down to a short list and discover that an applicant swears online like a drunken sailor, then it could take them right out of the running.

Go and have a look at your teenager’s online postings – or make them really squirm by having them read them out loud to you! That usually helps them to put things in context!

Using Twitter makes it simple for teenagers to engage with celebrities and even get into arguments with them. It doesn’t take much effort to find yourself on the wrong side of the law and it happens to professionals (who should know better) as well as young people (who don’t). Teenagers often struggle with the concept that Twitter is completely public and people can read what they’re saying without even having to follow them. What’s more, every tweet is recorded and even if you go back and delete it, there are lots of external systems grabbing tweets and archiving them. Undoing your mistakes on Twitter is very difficult – so make sure your kids know this, and think before they tweet anything insulting, insinuating or just downright infuriating!

Young people are growing up in an era where technology fads can come and go in the blink of an eye. Everyone is trying to figure out what each new technology is and how it can be used. There are those looking at how to gain commercially from them, those looking to see what fun they can have and those looking to see how they can abuse them for their personal gratification. Encourage your children to be users, not abusers.

Posted by Gordon Coulter on Sunday, January 10, 2016

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