Social media and students

Posted on August 9, 2016

Term 3, Week 3 Update from the Executive Director of Faith & Community

A parent of a Senior School student spoke to me the other day expressing concern at the potentially misogynist behavior of some boys towards girls on social media, a reminder of the importance of ongoing discussions at home, in Tutor groups, even in the classroom (where relevant) about the responsible use of social media.

The parent was also concerned that a few girls might be responding with inappropriate pictures, again issues around self-image and peer pressure prominent.

There is a helpful diagram from the Office of the Children’s eSafety Commissioner on the school’s new website, which parents will find helpful:

Well-known Australian psychologist, Andrew Fuller, also offers some useful tips in his recent book, Tricky Teens ~ How to create a great relationship with your teen … without going crazy!

Use the nana rule

– don’t post anything online that you wouldn’t want your nana to see.

– Beware of job-stoppers – these are pictures or comments that a future employer could use to not employ you and includes photos of being trashed at parties, doing anything illegal, groping people or promoting drugs, racism, sexism or violence.

– Don’t post negative comments about anyone.

– Have two Facebook profiles, a private one for friends and a public one for everyone else.

– Your private profile should have maximum privacy settings.

– Set a Google alert for your name. Google will send you an email if your name is posted anywhere online.

– If you want to make comments on chat rooms or blogs, don’t use your full name.If you see something that upsets you, and you feel compelled to respond, wait 24 hours before replying.

– If you post comments about other people, never when you’re angry.

For most of us, this is just common sense. We forget that the teenager’s brain is still developing and there are all sorts of mixed emotions being experienced every day, hence the importance of regular discussions, watching the friendship groups and ensuring the young person feels connected to the school and participates actively in the co-curricular program.

Finally, as I have shared with a number of students recently, when they head to bed, leave their phone in another room. I know of at least one Year 12 life that has been transformed since this was done.

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