Teens and Social Media

{If you are reading this via email you may need to click through to see the actual video of Tagged.}

Tagged is a relatively long You Tube video at just over 18 minutes. I don’t tend to watch long videos on the computer, I often get distracted by something half way through! But this was like watching the proverbial train wreck, I wanted to keep watching to see the total damage done.

So what is Tagged about?

When a group of high-school friends post a rumour about a rival, it sparks a chain reaction that leaves no one untouched. Cyberbullying, sexting, filmed fights and police action follow – will these friends be Tagged forever?

A short film developed by the Australian Communications and Media Authority’s Cybersmart program, Tagged is a drama for Australian teenagers that explores cyberbullying, sexting, digital reputation and personal responsibility. These themes are crucial to maintaining positive online behaviour and experiences while growing into adulthood. Featuring a teenage cast. Tagged is aimed at an audience 14 years old and over.

I watched the video on my own first. This is no daggy production. It is well put together, keeps your attention and unfortunately completely believable.

Although aimed from 14 year old up, my almost 13 year old has facebook, a mobile phone and a blog. I monitor all of these and we haven’t had any issues with his behaviour online, but I am constantly surprised at how nasty young teens can be to each other at times. None of this has been directed at my child, but I have asked him to delete conversations from his wall which I feel to be inappropriate.

After I watched the video I jotted down a couple of words to describe my feelings/thoughts on the film. I asked my son to do the same after he wayched it. He didn’t see mine and I let him write his own list. I think the power this film has is evident in how we both came up with the same first word – vulnerable.


My son











The film is made by Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) who have a fantastic website, Cybersmart, with a range of tips for parents, teachers and children of all ages with regard to all things online.

They have a dedicated section for the film Tagged which has:

What parents can do

  • Be aware of what your teenager is doing online and explore it with them. Try to locate the computer in a shared or visible place in the home.
  • Discuss the kinds of sites that are okay to explore and those that are not, and have clear rules about online activities.
  • If your child is using social networking sites ensure that they understand the privacy features—in particular how to set their profile to private and limit access to their information. Encourage them to screen online ‘friends’ and block anyone that sends offensive content.
  • Keep the lines of communication open so your child will be comfortable to talk to you if something is worrying them.
  • Help your child to develop the skills they need to interact safely and respectfully online.

How do you manage social media with your teens (or younger)?