Social Media Safety for Teens

If you are a parent of teens or pre-teens in 2019, you most likely fall under the category of “digital immigrant” as Jaci Russo calls it. In other words, you most likely did not grow up using a lot of technology, and definitely did not grow up with social media. And so in this digital/social world we live in, you and I are immigrants learning as we go about this foreign world.

But if you are a parent of teens or pre-teens (and actually kids even younger than that), you have no doubt been confronted with questions and concerns over social media and its role in your child’s life. So maybe you have asked around or read a few “Facebook articles” about the dangers of social media.

Perhaps you have overheard from your group of friends some of the drama that takes place online and you find yourself terrified of it.

Maybe you have even taken a hard line with your child and said “no” to a cellphone until high school — and kudos to you if you have because my 4 year old is already asking for a phone, so holding out until high school will be tough.

Or possibly you are in the “ignorance is bliss” camp. You don’t know anything about it and don’t want to know because it sounds like a headache.

And while sometimes it is freeing to go with the “what you don’t know can’t hurt you” mindset, our kids need us to know more about it because they still rely on us to protect them, even if they don’t admit it.

So with the intention of learning as much as I can about what can go wrong when kids get involved in social media, I reached out to Jaci Russo, a social media expert here in Lafayette.

We talked for a long time about everything from the five most dangerous apps for kids to the “Momo Challenge” to whether or not our Alexas are invading our privacy.

If you want to see the entire conversation (which would definitely be a valuable addition to your morning commute) you can listen and/or watch here.

But I’ve broken the conversation up into bite-sized chunks according to topic:



If you are interested in staying on top of the latest (and scariest) social media apps your kids might be using, or if you would like to learn more from Jaci about parenting in this new frontier, check her out at

About Jaci:

Jaci Russo is in the branding and marketing business but began to educate herself on the ins and outs of social media as she started seeing how it might affect her own children. After schooling herself on what was available to her kids, she began making guides for her friends so they could stay on top of it as well.

Today Jaci travels all over the country speaking to students and parents about the dangers of social media and how to stay safe while using social media. She also educates parents on how to be a parent of a “digital native”. She has taken what she teaches to people all over the country and turned it into a series of online courses to help both parents and teens navigate through this new world safely and smartly.