Can parents keep up with evolving social media?


Reporter - Mike Mallory
Web Editor - Ryan Burkett

Hannah Williams still has a Facebook account, but says she seldom uses it.

"People don't get on Facebook anymore because of how many parents are on Facebook," Hannah said. 
Hannah prefers Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and Snapchat. She says her generation wants info now.

"Like prom, for example. Everybody wants to see the prom pics so people are just going to post it immediately. It's how you keep up with people nowadays," Hannah said.
Hannah's mom, Amanda, says long before mobile phones had all these capabilities, she laid the groundwork.
"Computers had to stay out in the open. Homework, playtime on the computer, games they wanted to play, all of that stayed out on the computer desk and on the kitchen table," Amanda said.
Amanda trusts her daughter, but also keeps a list of all Hannah's account passwords, and randomly but routinely picks up her phone and checks the messages.
"These boys may use four-letter words...uh-uh! No! I will text you right back: 'You will NOT speak to my daughter that way,'" Amanda said.
Mom also reminds her daughter occasionally who's paying for the phone.
"As a parent, it's a nice bargaining tool," Amanda said. "Hey, get your cleaned up. How are your grades? This and that. The phone is not a necessity for you to have to be a teenager."
And some of the same warnings she's heard, Hannah actually passes down to her 12-year sister.
"I tell her, 'there are tons of people on social networks. Keep your things private. And just because they're private doesn't mean people can't see them,'" Hannah said.
Good advice from a good big sister, who also offers advice to all the grown-ups out there:
"Parents need to raise their children, not children raise their parents," Hannah said.

"It's out there. The language, the craziness these kids do. But once again, it goes back to the trust factor," Amanda said.

President Ronald Reagan famously said "trust, but verify." To help with that, we have links to help you find the apps from the top three cell phone providers: AT&T, Verizon and Sprint. They can help you find everything from content filters to locator apps.