What is your goal for the year? I bet it isn’t to be Vine famous, like my 15 year old client Lucy. She is a little obsessed with making Vines at the moment! I laughed and laughed at her absolute passion for 6 second video making. Her energy is (almost) contagious.
However, like all social media Vines comes with both the good, bad and ugly. I don’t want to dampen her enthusiasm but my job is to highlight the potential risks to her family so her parents can watch out for her.
- Followers: Vines is a completely open forum, unless you put your settings on private. Most young people who Vine don’t want a private profile because the whole point is sharing their story with the world. Open forums mean that anyone can comment on your Vines, which dramatically increases the risk of sexual content and haters, especially as you become more Vine famous.
- Following: Those who are Vine famous are often idolised by their followers. A lot of those who are Vine famous are good looking boys who are followed by teenage girls. This gives them a lot of power. There is always the potential for this power to be abused. Be careful who your teen is following, idolising and communicating with. It is very easy for them to get caught up in a fake world and forget their actions have real life consequences.
Things to be aware of when on all open forum social media sites:
- Paedophiles usually find young people on an open forum. This way it is east to track them and learn about them for a period of time before engaging them.
- Paedophiles put in a disguise. They don’t introduce themselves as a paedophile but rather as someone the teen can relate to, idolise or be friends with.
- One thing that paedophiles often do is take young people from an open forum to a private forum. They might ask, “Do you want to go private?” or offer them an email address.
- Paedophiles often ask for more photos.
- Paedophiles may flatter a young person. Example: You look beautiful
- Paedophiles may dare a young person. Example: Have you ever sent a nude before?
- Paedophiles may also tell the young person they live a long way away to give them the impression of perceived safety.
THANK YOU to everyone who has been passing these blog posts on, and for all your kind emails about their impact on your family. If you have a topic you would like me to blog about email me at email@example.com and I will respond to it as soon as I can.
If you would like to book me to speak at your school or community event email firstname.lastname@example.org
MOST IMPORTANTLY if your teenager needs support from a psychologist, counsellor or mentor Youth Excel would love to help. You can contact me at email@example.com.
What Teenage Girls Don’t Tell their Parents is available at www.michellemitchell.org for $24.95 plus postage.