A friend’s Halloween yard display — to-the-point about the 21st Century challenges and concerns that we face as so many people live so much of their lives on social media. I hope that future Halloween holidays can be celebrated with at least some of these problems improved.
After spending years teaching digital citizenship and civility in the K-12 world, I’ve now come to the conclusion that we parents and teachers should, in the midst of teaching children, stress that there is never privacy online. Yes, I know that we already teach this — or try to — in most schools and homes, but election 2016, accompanied by the theft and sharing of emails and other connected world materials, is scary. It has proven that everyone can be hurt by what they say online — even when what is said is not intended to generate hurtfulness.
Our confidential comments may differ from what we say in public. When our candid thoughts become widely available — yes, through hacking, but with kids, it’s through intentional sharing, gossip, or the unintentional mistakes that kids make — words can often be interpreted negatively. Moreover, at least for the time being, we live in a world where stealing a public figure’s private communications and making them public appears to be OK.
With so much conversation about screen time for kids of all ages, it’s also useful to think and talk about adults’ screen time. Adults model, but not always well, screen time habits for the young people in their families. When asked, most 21st Century children can share all sorts of stories about how much time their parents spend on their devices, even at inappropriate or inopportune times.
In his New York Magazine article, I Used to Be a Human Being, writer and contemporary thinker Andrew Sullivan contemplates the overwhelming “full immersion” that he and many adults experience with the online world.
Thanks to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), parents and teachers now have two simple and easy-to-use tools that can assist with developing a family’s media plan and estimating how family members can organize their time so that screen time is balanced with physical activity, reading, face-to-face connections, and homework.
Every school administrator and every PTA group will want to share the information about these digital planning devices in as many ways as possible. The new tools are available at the AAP’s HealthyChildren.org website.
The Academy has also refreshed its screen time recommendations for children of all ages, making needed updates to reflect the changing digital landscape as well as the many media activities in the lives of family members. Whether you agreed or vehemently disagreed with previous AAP screen and media guidelines, the professional society of children’s physicians deserves high praise for its ongoing efforts to address a media and digital landscape that dramatically affects the health and wellness of young people.
Can a person learn how to respond to an offensive or hateful situation? Can adults help 21st Century young people master the skills? Earlier this fall I wrote a post, Is Hate Speech Here to Stay?, wondering if up-front, in-your-face hate and offensive speech will be a continuing problem in our connected world.
Recently a New York Times article, Lessons in the Delicate Art of Confronting Offensive Speech, described the challenges and awkwardness that individuals experience when they happen to hear or see a person engaging in offensive activity. The piece highlighted research about what occurs when people challenge offensive speech, and it suggests concrete steps that a person can take when confronted by offensive behavior or speech. The authors, Benedict Carey and Jan Hoffman, point out that researchers have consistently found that a person who makes the awful comments will often curb behavior when another expresses reservations or reacts in a more indirect way.
I keep hearing about really knowledgeable and skilled people in their 50s and 60s who are searching for jobs and not getting them. As I chat with them at different times and in different places, each has a sense that age plays a role in not getting at least some of the jobs they seek.
I am reblogging a popular post from a few years ago about multi-age work teams.
Ageism in hiring practices is a terrible mistake, not just because it’s wrong but because it weakens the workplace. Multi-age teams produce better products, services, technology innovations, and while research keeps confirming the importance of intergenerational groups at work, employers are slow to catch on.
Have you been ever in a work situation where you feel especially old because younger colleagues occasionally roll their eyes or flaunt their up-to-the-minute technology skills? Does this situation make you speak defensively, sometimes making jokes about senior moments or aging? We’ve all been there!
Each month I receive several teen and women’s magazines to look over, and I immediately go through each one to tear out scads of perfume advertisements. My allergies react to the scented pages, and it is much easier to read the articles when I vanquish the perfume ads.
Recently I began thinking about how many advertising pages — perfumes and everything else — publishers cram into each issue that we read, knowing that almost all of them focus on female body image and portray unrealistic, and usually unattainable perfection. These days, so much of what kids see is digital, but these magazines still loom large in the lives of pre-teen and adolescents girls.