Coach Your Teen to Have a Winning Social Media Bio

The Social Institute offers insight


Published:

Image courtesy of Studio_G/Shutterstock.com

Here at The Social Institute, we coach students to think of social media as the biggest game in the world — one they can win or lose with every post, like, comment and share. As with all games, starting off strong is important.

Nearly all social media platforms allow users to write a “bio” as a part of their profile. It might seem like a small detail, but not even this part of the game should be overlooked. 

Parents, think of it this way: If a certain social media platform is like your company’s website, the bio is like the “About Us” page. And, on most platforms, your child’s bio — and image — is public, even though she may have a private account.  

Because your child’s bio truly offers a first impression to account viewers, encourage him to make it good. Here are some smart moves your child can make to create a winning bio: 

• Suggest that your child use a recognizable image of himself that reflects his core. For example, does he live and breathe Carolina Panthers football? Suggest that he consider using an image taken during a game. Is your daughter a foodie or fashionista? Encourage her to choose an image that reflects that.

• Advise your child to keep her location blank. Only her family, closest friends and the pizza delivery person need that information.

• Ask your child to keep his email address to himself instead of using it as a username, which makes it public.

• Suggest to your child that she include information about what people might expect when they look at her posts. Will they see images of her volleyball team, pictures of her dog or some of both?

• Ask older children to consider using their school’s abbreviation as part of their bio. (This is something we get asked about a lot, and we say it’s OK if your child is in grade 10 or higher. If your child is old enough to drive, she’s old enough to make that choice.)

And while your child is sprucing up his bio, it’s a good idea to have him “spring clean” his accounts in general. Use this as an opportunity to talk about his goals and values, how those values appear to others on social media, and how posts and other online statements can help him accomplish what’s most important.

The bottom line: First impressions matter. Work with your child to ensure her social media bios and accounts truly reflect who she is, without giving away information that is better kept private. That’s a win-win for both of you.

 

Laura Tierney, a digital native who got her first phone at age 13, is founder and president of The Social Institute, which offers students positive ways to handle one of the biggest drivers of their social development: social media. She also recently became a mom. Learn more at thesocialinstitute.com.

 

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More information

Sign up for a Raleigh scavenger hunt and put on your best Nick Cage impression as you seek out the national treasures hidden in Raleigh. Via an app, be guided through the cultural, historical,...

Cost: See website for fees

Where:
Downtown Raleigh
500 S. Salisbury St.
Raleigh, NC  27601
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Sponsor: LetsRoam!
Telephone: 833-202-7626
Contact Name: LetsRoam!
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The 16th Annual (Virtual) Beaver Queen Pageant, Beavers in the Stream! The Beaver Queen Pageant is the Triangle’s own special mix of folly, pageantry, and humor. Contestants take on beaver...

Cost: free

Where:
Online
, NC


Sponsor: Ellerbe Creek Watershed Association
Telephone: 919-423-1502
Contact Name: Rachel Cohn
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We invite all Triangle youth between the ages of 8 thru 17 with a sincere interest in the Performance Art of Magic to join Magic Youth Raleigh! This youth program teaches magic history and theory,...

Cost: $35 per Student

Where:
New Horizons Fellowship
820 E. Williams St.
Apex, NC  27502
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Sponsor: The International Brotherhood of Magicians
Contact Name: Roger Way
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The Beaver Queen Pageant is the Triangle’s own special mix of folly, pageantry, and humor. Contestants take on beaver personalities and compete for the title of Beaver Queen with their fashion,...

Cost: free

Where:
Online
, NC


Sponsor: Ellerbe Creek Watershed Association
Telephone: 919-698-9729
Contact Name: Rachel Cohn
Website »

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River Jam at the U.S. National Whitewater Center brings together live musical performances throughout the year to a one-of-a-kind outdoor venue, right in the middle of the world’s largest...

Cost: $6

Where:
USNWC
5000 Whitewater Center Pkwy
Charlotte, NC  28214
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Sponsor: USNWC
Telephone: 704-391-3900
Contact Name: Jenny Hill
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