Posted in 21st Century parenting, adolescent digital problems, digital health and wellness, digital parenting, parents and technology, social media, teens and technology, tweens and technology

Maybe Technology Itself Is Not the Primary Cause of Adolescent Digital Problems?

I’ve just finished reading a June 3, 2019 New York Times article, When Social Media is Really Problematic for Adolescents, by pediatrician Perri Klass and published for kids working on techher New York Times Check-up column. It’s an engaging read for parents of digital kids and for educators. (Check out other New York Times articles by Perri Klass.)

Dr. Klass makes a strong case for using a new paradigm when we consider the 21st Century digital world challenges of preteens and adolescents. She writes that technology activities such as gaming and social media may not be the primary cause of problems such as cyberbullying, addiction, or suicide, but rather interactive factors that further complicate the existing social-emotional and psychiatric problems of many young people.           

Continue reading “Maybe Technology Itself Is Not the Primary Cause of Adolescent Digital Problems?”

Posted in 21st Century life, 21st Century parenting, connected world problems, digital change, digital life, digital parenting, parents and technology, social media

Panic & Fear About Technology — Especially Social Media

Screen Shot 2019-06-03 at 9.54.10 PMDo you find yourself nervous and at wits end about all the problems with social media and kids? Do you dread hearing the next news report about kids, screens, and digital addiction because it feels too close to home? Are you regularly worried about the intensity of your own digital activities?

Few people will argue with the notion that our digital world needs tweaking. With data collecting running amock, hackers breaking into corporations around the world, bad actors using social media for espionage, parents’ worrying about screen time, and our personal privacy and information challenged day in and day out, people tend to panic about their kids and themselves. But panic is nothing new. Continue reading “Panic & Fear About Technology — Especially Social Media”

Posted in anti-vaccine, child health, choosing reliable resources, connected world problems, evaluating web site resources, health information, misinformation, real life learning, social media

Misinformation Does Not Have to Rule

It looks like anti-vax misinformation, promoted over the last several years on social media, is suddenly the focus of the robust challenges that will be needed to help people understand the dangers of going without immunizations.

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Check out the New York Times video below.

The challenges to the scientific information on vaccinations and scientific knowledge offer a real-life learning opportunity, one that parents and educators can use to help young people understand the perils of distorted information, the power of social media to distort facts, and the need for reliable digital sources. The video below, Fool House Rockis a resource to help people learn about some of the reasons why individuals believe vaccination misinformation on social media. Continue reading “Misinformation Does Not Have to Rule”

Posted in 21st Century life, democracy and digital life, Facebook, fake news, fraudulent news, media messages, political advertisements, social media

Two Senators Make Up a Group & Buy a Facebook Ad

Even as social media companies explained in Congressional hearings how they are developing ways to identify fraudulent and spurious political advertisements, two United States Senators conducted an experiment, creating a group, developing an ad, paying Facebook $20 each, and targeting groups of people who they hoped would view it. The two senators, Mark Warner of Virginia and Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota wondered whether they could get people to notice their advertisement, and lots did. The ad also included a disclaimer.

They explain what they did in the video below, which appeared on ABC.

 

In the comments section some individuals spent time bashing the two senators, noting they made up something that wasn’t true. What did not have much to do with their jobs as senators, some commenters wondered?

However, the two senators clearly aimed to make a point about the relative ease of creating and uploading fraudulent political content, and they demonstrated that the current steps that social media companies are taking to identify false political ads is still not enough.

Posted in civility, digital kids, fake news, social media, social media content, social media friends

Some Kids May Wish That Social Media Had Never Been Invented…

Children, at least some of them, may be getting tired of social lives dominated by social media.

An October 5, 2017, article in The Guardian, Growing Social Media Backlash Among Young People, Survey Shows, describes the results of a United Kingdom study about social networking. After surveying 5,000 students, researchers found that nearly 63 percent of young respondents are  “…disillusioned with the negative aspects of the technology, such as online abuse and fake news.”  This makes me wonder how children in other countries might respond to the same question. Continue reading “Some Kids May Wish That Social Media Had Never Been Invented…”

Posted in 21st Century life, media literacy, regulating social media, social media, social media content, social media friends

Possible Regulation for Social Media Companies?

Click on this image to go to MarketPlace and listen to the report.

Is there a possibility that government regulations may be in the future for  social media companies?

In the last ten years we’ve watched social media companies sprout up again and again. Some are enormously successful while others debut with great fanfare, only to fade into the background.

Social media organizations are often careless enforcers of their own community behavior rules and content guidelines, and they seem clueless about the need to educate users about media literacy. Moreover, many companies don’t understand enough about how 21st Century users can (and will) manipulate social media platforms. As a result, problems keep occurring — quite a few of them unanticipated.      Continue reading “Possible Regulation for Social Media Companies?”

Posted in 21st Century life, digital citizenship case study, fake news, hateful comments, media literacy, news literacy, offensive speech, parents and technology, social media

Poor News Literacy Skills Combined With Unproven News Can Hurt Real People

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via Pixabay

For years to come there will be no better case study to illustrate the damage that unsubstantiated news, internet trolls, and social media can create than ‘Pizzagate’. The shameful, made-up information and the events that followed will comprise an authoritative discussion piece for parents, and it should enter every middle and high school media/news literacy curriculum.

In the April 20, 2017 Washington Post, Comet Pizza owner James Alefantis writes about how fake news concerning his restaurant went viral. His article What Happened When ‘PizzaGate’ Came to My Restaurant describes what happened when his business, neighbors, and customers suffered because of harassment, frightening phone calls, menacing comments to workers and their families, intimidation toward nearby businesses, and even death threats. Yet Alefantis also describes how his strong community — neighbors and other businesses — rallied in support.
Continue reading “Poor News Literacy Skills Combined With Unproven News Can Hurt Real People”