Is Tumblr Safe: What Every Parent Needs to Know

Tumblr may seem like a perfectly safe social site. But parents needs to know the full story (and dangers) about this social sharing site that teens love.

It can be hard for parents to keep up with social media trends and sites used by teens these days. One of the more popular sites for blogs, photos and other social content is Tumblr.

In this post, we will tell parents what they need to know about Tumblr, a rapidly growing content-sharing site commonly used by teens. It looks harmless on an initial review, but it has some hidden dangers every parent should know.

What Is Tumblr?

Tumblr is often described as a “micro-blogging platform.” It is similar to a regular blog in that users can share “posts” that include a variety of media such as text, links, photos, gifs, audio, and video. It is called a “mirco” blog because each post is usually shared in snippets, content that is much shorter than a standard blog.
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Tumblr users can post to their blog, view posts from users they follow in their feed, and “reblog” posts from other users.

Tumblr is popular among teens and growing fast. Tech Times reported that in six months, Tumblr increased its active users by 120%. According to a report by Pew Research Center, many of those new users are girls. Just 5% of boys use the platform compared to 23% of teen girls.

It’s likely that your teen, especially your teen girl, is using the platform or will be soon.

Is Tumblr Safe for Teens and Should I Be Concerned?

All primary Tumblr profiles are public. There is no way to mark a profile or entire primary blog as private. To create a private blog that is password protected, users need to set up a secondary blog.

So even if your child creates a secondary private blog, their original primary account will always be public.

Tumblr has adult content. The site allows users to post explicit content on their blogs. While they do request that users tag their blogs as “adult-oriented” when it includes adult-themed content, they can’t guarantee that content will always be accurately tagged.

It is possible that adult-themed content can slip into your child’s feed.

What Should I Teach My Teen About Tumblr?

Show them how to hide adult content. Users can set their search so explicit content will not show in their search results using these directions from Tumblr.

Teach them how to mark their posts as private. While all primary profiles are public on Tumblr, users can set individual posts as private as a way to protect their information.

Explain how and when to block other users. Remind your teen when they should block someone and how to protect themselves from online strangers. Then, teach them how to block users when they need to.

Related Post: Protecting Your Kids From Internet Stranger Danger

Tell them you need to be involved. Parents should let their kids know that they need to be involved in their social media world. Let your kids know you will be reviewing what they post on Tumblr, not to snoop but to keep them safe.

Parents can also use MamaBear, the app for Peace of Mind Parenting™ to stay connected to their kids and review the activity happening on their social media accounts. The free app available is for iPhones and Androids and includes easy to use versions for parents and teens.

{Video} MamaBear CEO Discusses Social Media Safety for Kids on The Valley Girl Show

MamaBear CEO discusses social media safety for kids on The Valley Girl Show and how today's technology can help parents protect their kids.

Did you know 8,000,000 kids go missing each year? And many child predators who commit these crimes use kids’ social media accounts to find their victims. Today’s technology can help parents protect their kids against these and other harmful situations in many ways and give families more peace of mind everyday. MamaBear CEO, Suzanne Horton, sits down with Jesse Draper from the Valley Girl Show to talk about the MamaBear App and how the app and its “ultimate parenting tool” technology is connecting and protecting families and kids around the world. #JesseDraper #ValleyGirlShow

 

 

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The students of Lone Hill Middle School are having to face the cruel side of social media. Their classmate received horrific death threats via Instagram.The Hurtful Side of Social Media: Horrific Threats Via Instagram for One Teen

 

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The Hurtful Side of Social Media: Horrific Threats Via Instagram for One Teen

instagram safety for kids

The students of Lone Hill Middle School are having to face the cruel, unsettling and for most, unexpected side of social media. Their classmate, an unidentified girl, received startling and horrific death threats via Instagram. While police and school officials are doing everything possible to find the person behind these anonymous threats, parents are left wondering how they can protect their own children from the ugly aspects of social media.

How Many Tweens/Teens Use Social Media?

An article on Edudemic gives these startling stats:

  • 95% of teens ages 12-19 use the Internet
  • 81% have social media accounts, 50% of those have public profile information that can be seen by anyone on the Internet
  • 50% login to their social media accounts more than once per day, many 10 times a day or more
  • 21% of kids under 13 use social media sites
  • 23% of tween girls reported that Instagram was their favorite app

As a Parent, Here is What You Should Know

Ignorance of technology and social media is no longer an option for parents.  According to Nicole Nishada, spokeswoman for the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Office, “When the conflicts expand to social media, parents are often unaware of the communication occurring silently on cell phones and computers.”

The sheriff’s office involved in this incident has been very clear that the authorities take this type of threat very seriously and there will be consequences when the person behind the threats is caught. Cyberbullying affects both the victim, who will carry emotional scars, and the bully, who if caught, can face severe legal action, or financial consequences.

With serious consequences associated on both sides of the cyberbullying epidemic, it is critical for parents to take an active role and speak with their children about this topic.  Children should know that there are options when they are the victim of cyberbullying and they should also know the negative consequences of being a cyberbully.

As parents, we sometimes go by the old adage “no news is good news,” but our children, who may be afraid to speak up or who think they can handle the situation on their own, are struggling silently.

What Can You Do To Help Your Children

A lot. Social media is a privilege, not a necessity and parents have every right to closely monitor their child’s Internet usage, including social media accounts. Children have grown up with technology, are tech savvy and may know how to keep their parents from seeing their online activity. Insist on having the passwords to your child’s accounts and monitor them daily, asking questions if you see something suspicious or unsettling. Parents can also help their children avoid this type of harassment by keeping an open line of communication.

This Is What MamaBear Was Created For

MamaBear, The Ultimate Parenting App™ closely monitors your child’s popular social media accounts all in one convenient newsfeed, including what they are posting, tweets and pictures, and also what is being said back to them through comments, messages or any other means of communication.

The app, available on iPhone and Android devices, will alert you to any signs of bullying creating the opportunity for you to open up a line of communication and extract information from your kids. The MamaBear app also offers a private communication portal so you and your family can share messages and stay on top of any situation.  Your kids do not have to be a victim to cyberbullying.  Use MamaBear and be aware and informed before your child has a problem!

 

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Find out how talking to your kids about shaping and managing their digital reputation may impact their ability to get into college.Table Talk Discussion: How To Talk to Your Kids About Their Digital Reputation

 

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Table Talk Discussion: How To Talk to Your Kids About Their Digital Reputation

Find out how talking to your kids about shaping and managing their digital reputation may impact their ability to get into college.

Your child’s digital reputation is more important now than ever as it may affect their ability to hold a job, play on a team, and even get into college.

Here are a few important talking points to review with your preteen and teen as you discuss the impact their digital reputation can have on the rest of their lives.

Your Digital Reputation Starts Now

A “digital reputation” is the image you project and content you create online. It  is shaped by what  you post and the way you act online. It also includes what others post about you and all of the  information that can be found about you through search. It is your “personal brand” online, and may be the only impression someone has about you if they don’t know you personally.

In the current landscape of technology and social media, the digital footprint of your online life starts early, and, more importantly, stories, photos and other online information about you, can last forever.

It is never too early to start thinking about, and actively managing, your digital reputation, or your child’s,  as it will  shape how people perceive you, both online and offline, and can directly impact your personal life as well as your professional life. or in the case of children, their school and young social life.

Your Digital Reputation Can Get You Kicked Off a Team or Fired From a Job

Many preteens and teens think only their friends are reading the content they post on social media. They may be surprised to learn that their, teacher,  bosses, coaches and their friends parents are watching too.

A baseball player at Bloomsburg University learned that the hard way when he posted an offensive tweet about female Little League World Series pitcher Mo’ne Davis.

His coaches and the school noticed his tweet and dismissed the college sophomore from his team.

One tweet changed the course of this player’s entire collegiate experience. He later said, “An example that one stupid tweet can ruin someone’s life and I couldn’t be more sorry about my actions last night.”

Your Digital Reputation Can Impact Your Ability to Get Into College

Preteens and teens need to think about the wide audience that can see what they post online and remember that audience includes people they don’t know and may need to have a favorable impression of you in the future.

In some cases, college admissions professionals are researching applicants online and using what they find online to judge students and decide if they would be a good representation of the college.

According to a Kaplan study, 12% of college admission applicants were rejected because of what admissions counselors saw on social media. Imagine your child working hard to get the grades and scores to apply to great colleges only to be denied because of some errant posts or photos on their social media pages.

What Will Make Your Digital Reputation Look Bad

Colleges, businesses, and teams don’t want to form relationships with individuals who have a bad reputation online. A few ways to build a bad reputation include the following behaviors.

  • No Filter on posts or tweets: saying anything and everything that is on your  mind
  • Bragging: gloating, bragging or appearing very self-focused
  • Negative Chat: using social media as a place to vent frustrations and show anger
  • Bullying: saying hurtful or mean comments about others
  • Questionable Photos: each photo is part of an online reputation, even if meant in fun
  • Bad Language: obviously, swearing or discriminatory language should not be used online

How To Make Your Digital Reputation Look Good

On the other side, colleges, businesses, and teams do want to form relationships with individuals that can maintain a professional and positive position on social media through the following habits.

  • Be Mindful of Who Is Listening and Searching About You (It’s Everyone): A good rule of thumb is to not post anything that you wouldn’t want to be published on the front page of a newspaper.
  • Use Your Privacy Settings: If you want to share personal photos with close family and friends, be vigilant about setting your privacy settings. But know that anything you post online, even private things, can be shared.
  • Monitor What Others Post About You: Keep an eye on the photos and posts that you are tagged in. You are responsible for monitoring the photos and posts that relate to you.

A parent’s job doesn’t end after talking to their kids about their digital reputation.

Managing an online reputation is a big job, and kids need continual guidance as they learn the boundaries of social media etiquette and conduct. Parents should remain involved in their children’s social media world by monitoring their accounts and directing their behavior toward appropriate and productive habits that will help them, not hinder them in the future.

Parents can easily stay connected using the free iPhone and Android app MamaBear, The Ultimate Parenting App™ which easily syncs a child’s social media stream with their parent’s account and allows parents to see and help manage what is on their social media, even what others post about them.

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Why-Parents-Need-to-Monitor-Kids’-Social-Media-AccountsWhy Parents Need to Monitor Kids’ Social Media Accounts

 

 

bullying-679274_1280-e1428034973617Do You Know the Right Things to Do if Your Child Is Bullied?

 

 

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