May 25, 2017

The internet says #ImWithMari after Little Miss Flint opened up about being cyberbullied

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THIS is cyberbacking. 👊 If you witness someone being bullied online, back them up. It’s that simple. Great coverage by The Daily Dot.

May 23, 2017

Why parents should ask permission to post photos of their child on social media

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If you’re the parent of a middle- or high-schooler in 2017, there’s a good chance that your mom didn’t share baby photos of you on social media. A college recruiter can’t Google your name and see your eighth-grade graduation pics. Your potential boss can’t come across your naked toddler self in the bath tub. So, ask your child’s permission when they’re old enough, and use it as a chance to reinforce high standards.

May 23, 2017

Meet the Charlotte social media elite who treat their fame like full-time jobs

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Need to inspire a teen to “play to their core”? Share this article from WCNC. The social media stars profiled are great examples of this important social standard. They all started by sharing what they naturally love the most — including dressing up with a dog — and their passion, dedication, and hard work paid off with followers, fans, and (for some) a full-time job. 

May 19, 2017

How social media is impacting how students learn

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We are excited to learn about Goodwall’s efforts to integrate social media and education (versus devising more ways to separate them). “The reality is that students do spend many hours a day on social media and educators and schools can and should leverage the platforms to engage the students and enhance learning.” Read more in Forbes about how social media is affecting learning and the role it could play in the traditional classroom. 


May 17, 2017

When other families have different technology rules

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What should you do when your child wants to play at a friend’s house where the technology rules are less stringent? Where he’ll have access to more screen time, a cell phone, or video games — things that are not allowed at your home? The answer requires some hard work for parents. And, as always, we’re here to help.  

May 17, 2017

Kate Fagan’s University of Colorado commencement speech

Consider this: “I have created a crude algorithm in my head, and I’m now altering THE STORY OF MY LIFE, to chase page views.” Or this: “We now seem addicted to the reaction, to the applause. And even more than that: It’s as if nothing is inherently beautiful, but only if enough people agree that it is…” Kate Fagan’s speech is full of life lessons stated simply, and relatably, for teens. Parents, share this one with your older kids. The transcript is on espnW.

May 11, 2017

Why parents should sign the tech contract, too

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It’s time to turn the traditional family tech contract on its head. No more “I will not” this and “I will not” that. No more lone child signatures at the bottom. Families, it’s time to agree to work together to live up to high social standards. 

May 11, 2017

Fight cyberbullying with cyberbacking: Back each other up

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Witnesses to cyberbullying far outnumber the victims and the bullies, combined. When they back up the people who are bullied — when their positive voices overpower the mean words, embarrassing photos, intentional exclusions — good things happen. We call it cyberbacking

May 9, 2017

Meet the teen who shut down body-shaming with one simple — but amazing — tweet

After tweeting a photo of herself in her prom garb, an Indianapolis teenager got fat-shamed. By strangers. At The Social Institute, we encourage students to go high when others go low, and this high school senior did just that. Her follow-up tweet went viral. 

May 9, 2017

Nicki Minaj gives straight-A students a generous Twitter surprise

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We love seeing this type of support and generosity anywhere, but especially on social media. High-fives 🙏 to Ms. Minaj. And those straight-A students she reached out to? We see you. Keep up the awesome work, and follow Nicki’s example on social, too. Use it for good.

May 4, 2017

The hidden villain in ’13 Reasons Why’ is bad parenting

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OK, wow. That title is harsh. But the article supports a belief shared by The Social Institute: Equipping our kids to win the game of social starts at home. And if they don’t or can’t talk to a parent about what they face every day on their devices, they aren’t set up to 🏆. We also agree that “it’s not as easy as asking ‘What’s wrong?’ at the dinner table,” and that sometimes it takes “persisting with a gentle touch and honest intentions.” In other words, it’s hard. We’re here to help.

May 4, 2017

What teens are (still) tweeting about “13 Reasons Why”

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Press coverage about the new Netflix show is dying down, but teens are still talking about it. This is what they’re saying. It may surprise you. 

April 28, 2017

Talk about it: A mother and daughter on “13 Reasons Why”

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“My dad always says to choose the hard right over the easy wrong, and no one did that in this show,” says Emily, a high school senior who asked her mom to watch “13 Reasons Why” with her. How do they recommend other parents and teens approach this controversial series? With open minds and as many conversations as necessary.

April 26, 2017

Social media monitoring tools: Why not to spy

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We get it — you want to know what your child is doing online, which apps they’re downloading, who they are talking to, and how many hours they’re playing Pokemon Go. But using spyware to keep tabs is exhausting for you and invasive for them. It’s also, in the long run, not as effective as having regular conversations about social and digital. We call it huddling.

April 23, 2017

Social scouting: How NFL teams track prospects online

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This article reveals just how seriously an athlete’s career can be affected by what they share — or what others share about them — online. And it acknowledges the good social can do: “Everything you put up there, that’s going to be read by everyone,”draft expert Mel Kiper Jr. said. “You have to be careful of all of that and be aware of it. It can be a positive, or it can be a major negative.” 🎯🏈 #winatsocial