Social media workshop for parents attracts a packed crowd in New Westminster

A workshop for parents to learn about the risks inherent with their kids' social media and online lives drew a sold-out crowd in New Westminster on Thursday night.

Carol Todd, Jesse Miller advised parents eager to learn about how to keep their kids safe online

More than 100 parents attended a workshop on social media awareness in New Westminster on Thursday night. (CBC)

A workshop for parents to learn about the risks inherent with their kids' social media and online lives drew a sold-out crowd in New Westminster on Thursday night.

The seminar was put on at the Justice Institute of B.C. by New Westminster police, along with school and parents groups.

"Ask yourself: what would my adolescence, my youth, my adulthood look like if I could Google it today," social media expert Jesse Miller asked the eager crowd. 

"Right there you stop and say, 'Thank goodness the internet did not exist.'"

One of Miller's key pieces of advice to parents was to join their kids on social media and get involved. 

"If you're interested in trying to bypass the friend influence, one of the most important things I can think of when it comes to talking to your kids is actually parent involvement," he said.

"Have a family account — a family Facebook account, a family Instagram."

Learning from tragic death

Carol Todd, the mother of B.C. cyberbullying victim Amanda Todd, also spoke at the workshop. She tried to share the lessons she learned from her daughter's tragic death.

Jesse Miller and Carol Todd were two of the featured speakers at the workshop. (CBC)

"The history of Amanda was she was on the internet at 12 years old," she said. "She was making singing videos — she loved to sing."

A question and answer period followed the presentations; many parents stayed late, hungry to learn as much as they could.

With files from Stephanie Mercier

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