There is a positive and negative aspect to most things in life.  There are few exceptions to this rule. In recent times we have witnessed the negative side of popular social media sites. Disturbingly, social media have been featured in the alleged murder of a St. Catherine based young woman. According to police reports the young woman decided to meet face to face with the teenager with whom she had been corresponding. They met at his home and, in the end her body was found in a shallow grave nearby to his house. It has been reported that the teenager has since confessed to being a part of a satanic church. Additionally, the gunman who shot and killed two New York City police officers in Brooklyn, New York last Saturday also used on social media in posting some disturbing information about his intentions. It cannot be said often enough, be careful who you meet on social media. Very often the persona behind the monitor is not the same individual you will interface with. Schools are now on the Christmas break; resulting in more and more young people turning to the internet. Students surf the internet in search for some entertainment, to speak with old friends, seek out new friends and do research for homework. Parents have the added responsibility to guide and monitor their children regarding how to use the internet in a safe and efficient manner. It’s always best to have the family computer stored in a central area in the home. However, with more and more children having access to smart phones with internet capacity the job of parents and guardians have become more challenging. Parents should be mindful this Christmas about the kinds of gifts they give to their children. Of course as a parent you aim to make your child comfortable and happy, however, there are some gifts that if given should be carefully monitored. As a parent you probably will need to know the password of your child email account and smart phone. Yes, each child has a right to privacy; however, each child has a right to be safe more than the need for privacy. It’s always best to spend some quality time with your child, some of which can be used to navigate the internet. This Christmas, speak with your child about the reality and responsibility of having social media. Have a happy and safe Christmas. Wayne Campbell waykam@yahoo.com

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