According to Pew Research, over 80 percent of teenagers were active on social media in 2012. Although social media can be a form of positive communication, it is also a source of concern for parents and teachers.
“Many children using the Internet don’t realize that social media includes almost everything they do online,” says Technology Teacher Michael Babler. “More importantly, students don’t always understand the future effects of their social media use today.”
Middle and high school students at Divine Savior Academy attend a social media seminar on the first day of school where the following guidelines encourage positive experiences online:
• Be responsible. Students are held accountable for content they post online. Even if they did not take the picture, make the comment or write the article, they are responsible for sharing the information.
• Use caution. Do not post or share the following: confidential or personal information about yourself or anyone else, passwords or login information, copyrighted items and photos or videos without permission.
• Consider the future. What is posted online now will follow the person forever. Do not post anything that you would not say or do in front of your parents, teachers or future employers.
• Be honest, thoughtful and respectful. Avoid obscene or crude language, sexual comments, material related to alcohol, drugs or illegal behavior, and discussions that are harmful to the reputation of others, including your school.
• Only accept social media invitations from people that you know.
• Cyberbullying is a serious offense. Avoid it and report cases that you see.
• Use privacy settings, but remember that even with the strictest privacy settings, information can become public, including what is deleted since it is stored online indefinitely. Assume that whatever you post online is public and permanent.
Most social media sites have an age restriction of 13 years old, due to the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act.
It is illegal for companies to collect personal information from children under the age of 13 without the consent of a parent or guardian. “It is crucial to teach our children not only the dangers of social media, but also the responsible use of these platforms. I encourage parents and guardians to begin conversations with their children at home and to seek support from their educational institutions,” comments DSA Principal Ben Troge.
For more information about Social Media Safety and Divine Savior Academy, visit DivineSavior-Academy.com or call 305-597-4545.