It’s a Social World

It was the fall of 1994, and I was a freshman at Trinity College. I distinctly remember writing my first email—ever—from the college library. I wrote to a friend, and I was amazed that my letter could be sent instantaneously, without postage. That friend is now my spouse, and we often communicate via text message; who would have guessed? …on either front.

The world has indeed changed: cell phones, 3D printers, apps, self-driving cars—the list goes on and on. Advances in technology are amazing and life changing. Yet for teachers and parents of adolescents involved in the world of social media, there are also many challenges.

Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, Facebook, Vine, YouTube, Musical.ly, Kik, Tumblr, Linkedin, Pinterest, Google+, and many more may make KnightSite look rustic. 

As we begin another school year, be sure your child feels safe and is behaving appropriately with social media. Stay current with what’s out there. This does not mean you need to create various accounts and follow your child down every social media passageway, but it does mean you should speak to them on a regular basis regarding their online patterns (and maybe follow a couple accounts).

Below are several tips, or refreshers, to help get the year started right.

  • Set limits for screen time, including at night. Allowing children to use devices well into the night disrupts sleep patterns and potentially interferes with the sleep of others.
  • Reinforce that nothing is private on the Internet. Messages and pictures can be screenshotted by the receiver and then distributed openly. 
  • Consult with the school if your child is being negatively impacted through social media or the Internet. Be informed of and respect the school’s policies regarding appropriate uses of technology.
  • Model positive uses of apps and social media. Modeling healthy behavior also means setting limits on your screen time within your family structure.
Common Sense Media is a fantastic website to help guide you through the ever-growing world of media. Check it out:
 
 
Finally, please mark your calendars for Tuesday, November 29 at 7:00 p.m. Gill St. Bernard’s will be hosting a viewing of Screenagers, Growing Up in the Digital Age. Middle schoolers will view the documentary the next day during school. More information coming soon.
 
Enjoy this funny video about social media, and have a wonderful fall season!
 
Kyle
 
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Gill St. Bernard’s is a private, coeducational day school for students age three through grade 12, located in suburban New Jersey. Each of the three school divisions provides a vigorous, meaningful and age-appropriate curriculum, and all students benefit from the environmental learning opportunities that exist on our 208-acre campus.