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Why I made my 6 yr old sign a social media policy

family social

I talk a lot about hospitals, brands, organizations, etc but historically have not talked much about the personal side of social media. Well… a couple of days ago I saw this headline:

Daughter’s Facebook boast costs former Gulliver Prep headmaster $80,000 discrimination settlement

Whoops… That is kinda a big deal.

Yesterday I was on Twitter where I saw my good friend, Farris, post about this very story:

So it got me thinking. Should I have a family social media policy and terms of use? Many smarter than I have spent time on how to raise your kids in the age of technology, but from my perspective you can not avoid this and it will out pace your own knowledge soon enough. So what do you do?

At first this was kinda a joke… a social media policy for my family… but the more I think about it the more important I feel it is to talk with my family about the impact of this medium. So where to start? I go back to my friend Farris. He is the medical director for the Mayo Clinic Center for Social Media. In his work there he has, what he has coined, a “12-word social media policy.” I would encourage you to check out his post and the expanded definitions, but in short:

  • Don’t Lie, Don’t Pry
  • Don’t Cheat, Can’t Delete
  • Don’t Steal, Don’t Reveal

Each of you should spend some time with your family and talk technology. Even though you might not think it, this stuff is still new and not everyone understands the consequences of it’s use. Let me ask two questions:

  1. Does you spouse know what they should say and not say about your job while on Facebook?
  2. Do your kids understand the life of a tweet?

If we spend time training employee we should see how that training translates to home.

Author Info

Reed Smith