Back To School: Are You Digitally Ready?

One of the biggest things on the mind of every parent right now is that school is just around the corner. For some, you’ve been counting down the days; for others, you’re trying to soak up all the last moments with your kid as you can. Either way, parents are in prep/transition mode of getting their kids ready for heading back to school. As you are buying school supplies, new clothes, and checking off all the boxes, one box that easily gets missed is making sure your child is digitally ready.

Here are the top ten things you or your kid can do to be digitally ready before heading back to school:

  1. Declutter: it’s always good to designate some time to clean up your phone/social media accounts. Get rid of apps you don’t use, delete texts, photos and videos you don’t need, get your email box down as far as you can, simplify your profiles, etc.
  2. Social Media Agreement and Plan: if grades suffer, what should happen? When a responsibility is not being done, what should happen? Screen time limits, no phone zone, random phone checks, what apps can I have, etc. All of these need clarification between a parent and child. To check out an agreement we came up with, click here.
  3. Google Your Kid: name/city/school…type those in any order and see what comes up. Maybe nothing, or perhaps a different person under the same name, or maybe something inappropriate will come up that you didn’t know they posted. It’s good to know what future employers and college admins see when they digitally search you.

  4. Update Phone and Passwords: whenever you have a software update on your phone, don’t put it off for long (those can help protect you from different bugs and viruses). And updating your passwords a couple of times a year keeps you protected as well!
  5. Get Digitally Involved: the earlier you start, the more of a norm it will become. If your kid has it, you should have it too. Consider doing some social media together!
  6. Be a Good Digital Citizen: post positive things, communicate concerns to an adult, build your digital identity because your future career and college will look you up, have fun and be purposeful/creative, etc.
  7. Friends Only: only communicate and be friends with people you know online.
  8. Cyber Bullying and What To Do: if they see/experience any cyberbullying, they should know to come to you or a trusted adult first. To find out more about cyberbullying, check out our blog here.
  9. Check Settings: make sure each of your social media accounts is set to as private as possible and “friends only” as possible. Be sure to download our free settings guide
  10. Digital Grace: in regards to your kid and technology: always assume the best first, expect the norm (teens act/think like teens) and give you and your kid a lot of grace!

There you have it, the top ten tips to be digitally ready before going back to school!

If you’re like me, when I see this list I think “Woah, that’s a lot to do.”  So take one step at a time; choose one of the tips above to implement this week and go from there! Remember, becoming socially smart is an ongoing process, and that’s exactly why we exist: to come alongside you on this journey and help you navigate this somewhat confusing, overwhelming and ever-changing beast we like to call “Social Media!”