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

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

On Digital Parenting Fear, Part #1 – What Risks Should We Worry About the Most?

When we teach and interact with digital kids about their hyper-connected lives, I wish we could de-emphasize the fear factor and re-emphasize education and understanding, helping young users become stronger digital world problem-solvers. While monitoring, learning, and guiding, we also need to be sure to help kids, develop the antennae to identify and avoid a range of online problems — not just the big ones.

fear risk

Image made at Festisite.

A day doesn’t go by without hearing an adult comment about children’s digital world risks, and invariably these conversations focus on predators, strangers, pornography, cyber-bullying and even the death of a child. In the area where I live, a grievous and tragic even is unfolding as I edit this post.

My concern as an educator is that my students, without fail, noted how important it was to be aware of the frightening situations. Their deep concern about potentially horrible Internet encounters — events that do not occur nearly as often as the mainstream media imply — obscured for many of them, the importance of many other interactive problems that happen on a daily basis to digital kids — misjudgments, miscommunications, and daily social events gone awry. It’s these problems, often the result of minor online misjudgments or typically adolescent missteps that regularly cause  public humiliation and embarrassment, and such events wreak havoc on a child’s and a family’s daily life.       Continue reading

Google+ vs. Facebook

Google Facebook privacy

This clip is from the info graphic.

Please check out my post comparing Facebook and Google+  over at Discover Your Child’s Digital World another blog that I maintain.

My content addresses issues of interest for parents whose kids use either or both of the sites and focuses on interesting facts, some of the differences between Google+ and Facebook, and privacy issues.

I  illustrate with a terrific infographic from Veracode Application Security.

Learning Lots More About Topics I Know Lots About: My NAIS 2013 Conference #1

You are in a good workshop when it’s on a topic that you know well, and you end up learning a whole lot more, and when you feel new knowledge pathways opening up, you say “Wow!”  That’s what happened to me on Friday morning at the 2013 National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS) annual conference, this year in Philadelphia.

I attended a workshop, “It’s Just Facebook: Ethical Questions in Social Media Use,” and discovered first-hand how much I can still learn about educating children, their parents, and educators when it comes to 21st Century digital citizenship and media literacy problem-solving. What’s  especially interesting to me since, just the day before, I presented a workshop with three of my NAIS colleagues on a similar topic.

Ethics institute

Check out the Ethics Institute teacher workshops.

In their “Ethical Questions” workshop, Kent Place School presenters Kimberly Coelho and Karen Rezach helped us compare moral with ethical dilemmas sharing case studies that are designed to help students examine and address the life challenges that pop up in their 21st Century learning and digital lives.

The two leaders, part of the Ethics Institute at Kent Place, walked us through the discussion process, emphasizing how they  include a range of different perspectives. Often right and wrong answers are not so clear because the dilemmas usually present competing values, so the problems are not examined or solved easily.

Continue reading

Looking into Our Kids’ Futures: Will Social Media Be There?

If you missed this set of essays, Is Facebook a Fad? Will Our Children Tweet?, published in the June 19, 2012, New York Times, take some time to read these short pieces on social media and contemporary life.

As a part of a regular Times’ feature, Room for Debate opinion, readers can learn what six knowledgeable media commentators think about the always evolving digital world.

For instance, MIT Professor Sherry Turkle describes the tendency of social media users to “hide” from one another, substituting quick text nuggets for what used to be face-to-face interaction. Morra Aarons Mele, a digital manager and founder of Women Online, acknowledges the communication downsides, but says that social media and the digital professional work it has created make the world more egalitarian.           Continue reading

Facebook and Younger Kids: Will They or Won’t They?

Earlier this month a spate of articles (see links below) reported that Facebook is testing features to help it decide whether to expand its social networking access to children under the age of 13.

Now a group of child advocacy organizations sent a June 18, 2012, letter to Facebook’s CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, strongly urging the company to avoid advertising for kids as well as to offer a guarantee of no tracking of children’s online activity. Read the entire letter at the bottom of this Consumer’s Union page.

The following organizations signed the letter:

Consumers Union, Center for Digital Democracy, Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Center for Media Justice, Center for Science in the Public Interest, ChangeLab Solutions/Public Health Law & Policy, Children Now, Consumer Action, Consumer Federation of America, Consumer Watchdog, Privacy Rights Clearinghouse, Privacy Times, Public Citizen, and World Privacy Forum.

Articles to Read                         Continue reading