Wednesday, August 20 2014 5:43 AM EDT2014-08-20 09:43:48 GMT
A young girl says she was standing up for her religious beliefs in the classroom after breaking a class rule.More >>
A young girl, who claims she was standing up for her religious beliefs in the classroom, was suspended after breaking a class rule of saying "bless you" after a classmate sneezed. More >>
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) -
Constant status updates, tweets, hashtags are part of the digital world we live in. It's virtual social media overload and 90 percent of teens are connected, whether their parents realize it or not.
Chief Executive Mom Esme Infante Nii of Moms in Hawaii says, "My daughter is in 5th grade and already some of her friends are on Instagram. I'm not sure their parents are even aware they're on Instagram."
Mother of 7 Chastity Colomo told us, "I didn't have the guts to follow my girls on Instagram. I knew they had created accounts without me knowing and there was this whole incident with them setting up Facebook pages without me knowing. That got shut down immediately."
Facebook and YouTube are still the most popular platforms for tweens and teens, but dropping in numbers. The hot apps on the rise-- Instagram and Snapchat, two places to share photos. Smartphone messaging tool Kik has 50 million users.
Snapchat sparked a debate over whether there's such a thing as 'self destructing' with a digital footprint.
Moms in Hawaii helped us gather a 'Mom Squad' for a crash course on social media savvy.
Candie Hattori is a mother of 3 young ones, but keeps watch on her older niece and nephew. As she put it, "I've already noticed some behavior of theirs that's not the smartest and I know they don't know. They're just innocently using and don't know what to look out for."
Social Media savvy tip number one: 'Teach online picture etiquette.'
Moms in Hawaii Marketing Mom Kimi Morton explained, "Kids may or may not understand that every time they hashtag something, anyone can find that picture based on that hashtag so it's something important for parents to understand as well."
Two more social media strategies? 'Be sure to set privacy settings to limit access' by strangers and 'don't reveal personal information.'
Kimi Morton adds, "It's super critical for parents that have kids with Instagram accounts that they keep those accounts private."
Social media gives predators a window into your world. Consider this. Accused Ohio kidnapper Ariel Castro was very active on Facebook.
Strive to have open dialogue with your children starting when they're young, so they can 'warn you of any inappropriate requests.'
Last but not least, 'get up to speed on technology trends.'
Moms in Hawaii's Chief Mom stresses, "If you are a parent with a child on social media, make sure you yourself are familiar with that platform. Get on it, play with it. There is no handbook."
There is no handbook, but you can find help for a POG. If you don't know that's teen code for "Parent on Guard," then you should do some digging online. Similar variations: POS or Parent Over Shoulder or P911, Parent Emergency.
Here are some helpful websites to up your social media savvy: