In the News
- May 15th, 2012
“Is Facebook making us lonely?” asks the Atlantic, in a well-researched article that verifies a life truth: as with most things, social networking is just a tool that can be used positively OR negatively; and the Huffington Post discusses “Three Ways to Find Happiness on Facebook.”
From Face Time to Facebook
Etiquette and safety reminders for online social networking
Chat rooms and social networking sites have many positive benefits. But, there are also risks involved. Everyone who participates must be careful with what they post. Participants must also remember to balance their screen time with other activities.
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Students will engage in activities that will promote appropriate participation in chat rooms and social networking sites.
This lesson was created specifically because of the new Federal Communications Commission (FCC)’s requirement that states, “Beginning July 1, 2012, schools’ Internet safety policies must provide for educating minors about appropriate online behavior, including interacting with other individuals on social networking websites and in chat rooms...”
For more detailed information about the FCC’s requirements, refer to the FCC’s Report and Order, and Forms 479 and 486 (and the related instructions).
To learn more about Facebook and digital drama, watch these short three-minute Generation Safe Quick Tips videos:
GSQT, Episode 1: “What is Facebook?”
GSQT, Episode 2: “Facebook for Educators”
GSQT, Episode 4: “Digital Drama”
THINGS TO REMEMBER:
Watch for online surveys where students may be rating/judging each other cruelly. (“Vote for the fattest girl”)
Watch for reports from students about illegal activity posted on a Facebook account. This does not mean you should be friends with your students on Facebook. But most likely, your students are friends with each other on Facebook (and probably follow each other on Twitter or other sites as well). Teach them to be aware of the “digital bread crumbs” that their peers may post indicating drug abuse, anorexia, gang recruitment, dating violence, cutting, and even suicide.
This week’s lesson is about social networks and chat rooms. It is important that we all recognize that our children are living their lives out online. What they do in the digital environment affects how they feel about themselves and the relationship around them. What they post and how they communicate impacts their future academic and employment opportunities.
The lesson taught students to:
Never share personal or private information online
Build a positive online reputation
Be considerate and kind in the comments they post
You can reinforce this lesson with your teens by discussing these topic areas. For example, discuss how much time you and they feel is appropriate to spend on social networking sites. The American Academy of Pediatrics continues to recommend that children and teens use no more than two hours per day of screen time, and that parents create an “electronic media-free” environment in the children’s bedrooms. Parents can support each other and empower other parents by following these guidelines.
THINGS TO REMEMBER:
Often, social networks offer or introduce various applications. Remember to talk to your teens about the pros and cons of using these apps. For example, “Foursquare” is an application that allows you to flag your location. This can be very risky without the right precautions.
Teach your children to never participate in video chats with adult strangers. These situations often lead to inappropriate and unfortunate consequences.