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Social Media and Internet Safety

Inspiration

 

 

My social impact initiative comes as an extension of my passion for all things mass media. After speaking with a 5th grade classroom about my degree, I discovered the incredible curiosity young children have for the internet. In addition, I uncovered the intense insecurities children experienced due to their online presence. The classroom visit took a turn in a direction I never saw coming. After listening to many students open up, I suddenly felt an immense responsibility to not let their voices go unheard. I carried this experience with me and shared it with several sets of parents. I quickly realized that most had little to no knowledge of what battles their children were facing each day online. Since this experience, I have been striving to open the lines of communication between parents and children regarding their online lives.

Mission

My mission is to create responsible youth while enlightening, engaging, and empowering parents to create internet safe homes. To do so, I have developed the “Four Commandments for Kids Online.” 

 

1. Set clear rules about internet-linked devices - Parents should determine how much non-school time can be spent on the internet and social media. 
2. Keep internet-linked devices located in a family area - A recent study showed that 25% of teens reported their parents know little or nothing about what they do online. This can often be a result of children having a device in their rooms. 
3. Install an internet filter - Whether the child is seeking out explicit information themselves or it pops up on their screen without warning, the potential for trouble is too high. 
4. Open up the lines of communication between parents and their internet-savvy children - This way parents are involved in their child’s online life and children are more likely to come to their parents when something doesn’t feel right.

Resources

Bark - Bark is an incredible internet filter for families. It's affordable, award-winning service proactively monitors text messages, YouTube, emails, and 24 different social networks for potential safety concerns. This program allows children to maintain a sense of independence and privacy, while allowing parents the opportunity to involve themselves when necessary to provide guidance.

 

A Social Media Breakdown - This web page provides parents with the basics -- what apps are, why they're popular, and what problems can crop up when they're not used responsibly. Knowing the basics can make the difference between a positive and a negative online experience for families.

Coby Persin- Coby is a 21 year old YouTuber who specializes in social experiments. One of his most popular videos highlights the dangers of  not communicating with our children about their online lives. He reveals to sets of parents just how easy it can be to manipulate young internet users.