Q. My teen posted a video on YouTube that got a lot of mean comments, which really upset her. How do I help her recover?
A. Internet trolls -- those folks who make cruel remarks just to stir the pot -- are everywhere. Tell your kid to ignore them.
That said, the ability to handle criticism -- and learn from it -- is a valuable skill that your kid will use for her entire life. YouTube lets teens over 13 post videos (visit YouTube's Safety Center for more guidance for families), and your teen genuinely may have wanted to see what other people thought of hers. But that doesn't mean that she was ready for negative feedback.
Next time, help soften the sting with a pep talk. Explain that comments are likely to run the gamut from insightful to insulting. Remind her to take the feedback with a grain of salt and use what she can as an opportunity to evaluate her strengths and weaknesses. She can learn from the experience that there's a way to phrase comments constructively. And both of you should remember that truly cruel comments violate YouTube's terms of service, so you should report anything offensive.
Your teen can use YouTube more effectively with these tips:
- Use privacy settings. Set videos to private, and choose a small network of people to share with.
- Manage comments. If you post a video, you can either disable comments so no one can write anything, or you can choose to preapprove comments so you can review them and approve only the ones you want to be visible.
- Comment constructively. Teach your teen to make constructive comments on other people's videos.
Got a question? Drop me a line, or send me a tweet.
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