Every year when I’m a Celebrity comes on, we are all excited to see who is facing the jungle challenge this year but we often comment on the fact that with some of the campmates, the use of the word ‘celebrity’ is somewhat tenuous.
This year is no exception and I must admit that there were very few that I recognised this year but as the format of the show is entertaining, it doesn’t really matter. I certainly hadn’t heard of Jack Maynard but both of my sons had. They are avid YouTube watchers and although Jack Maynard isn’t one of their preferred YouTubers, they knew who he was and that he had an impressive following.
If this year’s I’m a Celebrity or the resulting headlines have passed you by, Jack was removed from the jungle after a few days for some inappropriate behaviour online a few years ago. Amongst the allegations were racist and homophobic comments on Twitter and asking a female fan to send nude photos on Facebook. Although he was a mere teen when all of these things took place (he is now 23), he has come out of the jungle and publicly apologised saying that he was ashamed of what he did and now regrets it.
As both boys watch I’m a Celeb with me, I seized the opportunity to talk to them about this and the general subject of what you post online and how important it is to think before you post. It is all too easy when you are young and you don’t think it matters what you write. But the harsh reality is that it can seriously come back and bite you. The teen is constantly on social media and although his brother isn’t using it yet, I’m sure it won’t be too long.
Think before you post. It is something I have said a lot. Screens are such an important part of our kid’s lives and with that social media. I read a report last year conducted by BBC Newsround that said that three-quarters of children in the last year of primary school were using at least one social media network and a shocking 96% of 13-18-year-olds used social media networks.
In the face of this, as parents, our role is now to make sure our kids are using social media sensibly. In some ways, I have an advantage as I use social media, I understand how it works and the pitfalls and I hope that I can guide them to make the right decisions.
One of those decisions has to be to think before you post.
Think about the effect it might have on someone else. Think about the effect it might have on you if other people see it. Remember that even if you delete something, somebody somewhere could have taken a screenshot. People use search engines to find information about people and that will include your social media networks. That person could be your future employer.
When you are young, you don’t have any idea of the repercussions. They wouldn’t think that it could affect their future careers or more and yet we are hearing about people all the time who have been caught out on social media and it isn’t always kids either. Someone is always watching.
So the Jack Maynard story has been a good talking point in this house. Of course, the teen said it was a bigger deal with him as he is ‘famous’ but I still think the message is still the same. It doesn’t matter who you are, you still need to think before you post anything on social media. I really hope that this has made my teen and tween think and it was good to have a real-life example that the boys could relate to, to back up my ‘nagging’.