Questions and Answers

Social networks have a lot to offer but also pose some challenges to users. While this is true for adults, it’s often just as challenging for children and adolescents.
Teachtoday has collected some frequently asked questions about social networks and put together some answers for you.
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Social networks meet various core interests of children and young people. It’s a place for them to present themselves the way they would like to be. With the choice of their profile photo and the things that they choose to “like” they are creating their online personality. They can change this self-image and stay up to date on the newest trends in just a few clicks. Or regarding new friends, the moment they meet someone new and exciting, they’ll add that person to their Facebook circle by “friending” them. Once the friendship runs its course it’s just as easy to end. The number of online friendships, “likes” or clicks, basically the tally of interactions with other users, is key to a young user’s self-esteem. Because belonging is very important at that age.
There are various factors. As in real life, peer pressure comes into play on social networks. Due to a fear of not appearing open and friendly, children and young people want to do “what everybody else is doing” online. This is where a second key factor comes into play: Young media users often do not put enough thought into the consequences of their use behavior. They underestimate the impact and reach of their actions on social networks. They might quickly post something that their friends will certainly find very funny. Being so quick to click, they forget to check the security settings, and now everybody can see what they posted, which isn’t always a good idea.
The first thing to think about for safe use is the privacy settings. These differ from operator to operator. Private information, such as a phone number, address, place of residence, or an e-mail address, should never be publicly visible on one’s profile, especially for children. Children should also not use their own name but a pseudonym, if possible. A good rule of thumb from “offline” life should also apply for social networks: Only give your private information to people whom you know and trust. It’s a matter of course that adults ought to follow what young people do online and be there to foster responsible behavior. This begins with setting up an account together and customizing the security settings, etc.
The contractual relationship with the social network operator can be terminated at any time with a simple notice. Normally the notice is submitted via a online form or a written notice via email. Photos, videos and other data that have been uploaded to a platform and linked to a profile will be deleted from the profile upon termination of the contractual relationship. Comments, like those posted in groups, may remain online under certain circumstances. So one should never mention private information like an address or phone number in a post. Network operators are generally obliged to provide information when it comes to issues that affect a users profile.
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