Facebook Live allows people to live stream videos where others can watch, comment, and participate. Facebook isn’t the only social media service to offer this, though. Twitter and Snapchat also has live streaming capabilities. Kids love using them, but the videos they record can hurt their reputation later on. A school official or potential employer can use the Internet to find a person and discover inappropriate posts and live streams. My son, who was a high school senior at the time, almost lost his full ride sports scholarship because of a Facebook Live video he posted.
My Son’s Live Stream Video
There was nothing too terrible in the video. He was at a party where he was drinking with his friends. In the video, he was drunk and ranting about his coach. Now of course, I don’t approve of my son drinking while underage. But we’re not naïve, either – we know that teenagers make bad choices. Unfortunately, my son chose to post his bad choice on the Internet.
My son is a varsity baseball player who was offered a full scholarship to a prestigious university when he graduated high school. We were thrilled that he was offered such an amazing scholarship! There was no way we could afford to pay for a top-rated school like that out of pocket. We also didn’t want him to have to take out too many student loans.
But when my son filled out his application for the school, the admissions counselor used his name to find a person, along with his social media accounts. After viewing the Facebook Live video, they very nearly rescinded the scholarship offer. They thought my son’s video was irresponsible and showed poor judgment. None of these were qualities that they wanted their students to flaunt online.
My son managed to write an apology letter and demonstrate in an interview that he had learned from his mistake. But what if he had lost his scholarship? What if an employer someday finds that video and he loses out on a good job because of it?
Teach Your Kids To Live Stream Responsibly
Parents, you can learn from our mistakes. Talk to your kids now about the dangers of live streaming. Teach them how to be safe online. And show them how to manage their privacy settings so their videos and posts aren’t publicly available to anyone that tries to find a person on social media.
Live streaming is a rush for kids. They enjoy the attention they get from it, so they tend to post controversial things to get reactions. But those videos, just like photos, last forever. There is no way to completely delete something once it’s online. It can always pop up when someone is trying to find a person online. So, if your kid makes a mistake by live streaming something inappropriate when they’re in middle or high school, it might eventually impact their career.
There’s no way to keep your kids from live streaming if they have a smartphone. You may not even know they’re using Facebook Live because they can hide their posts. I didn’t even know my son had posted a live stream while he was at a party. So the best thing you can do is teach your child about the dangers of live streaming so they can protect their future.