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March 13, 2017

The Social Institute’s recommended social standards

Standards are a little different than rules. They’re ways of living and expectations of ongoing behavior that a group of people agree to and expect of each other. Standards are not easier to follow than rules. In fact, they may be harder to follow because standards take practice. The great thing about standards is that when a group of people agrees to follow the same ones, they can help each other meet them. Think of standards as a way to live, not just a way to behave. 

Below are The Social Institute’s six standards of social. Under each are ways to live up to that standard. You could say that the six standards each have specific “rules” that, when followed, help you meet the standard. 


Think of standards as a way to live, not just a way to behave.


Protect your privacy like you’re famous 🤵🌟

  • Keep your location, email address, and phone number private. Do you know where Emma Watson lives? How about Lebron’s Skype handle? No? There’s a reason.
  • Change your passwords every three months. That’s quarterly or, for those of you who don’t like counting, once a season.
  • Never share your passwords with friends, even your BFF. And yeah, the code you set to unlock your phone is a password. Unlock it first before handing it over.
  • Avoid sharing photos or videos with your location or identity info evident, such as a street sign, mailbox, front door, car’s license plate, and — especially — your driver’s license.

Play to your core 🙋❤️

  • Share the things you won’t mind being made public, even if they’re sent privately. Remember: A screenshot lasts forever.
  • Turn the camera around to show what’s happening in front of you once in a while, especially if you feel pressure to share only a perfect version of yourself. No one is perfect, ever. Steph Curry (maybe you’ve heard of him?) says that the best person you can be is the best version of yourself.
  • Capture what that you love the most, not what will get the most likes and comments. Do it for yourself, not for others.

Cyberback others📱💻

  • Back up other people with encouragement and support if you see them being bullied. When you do this online, we call it cyberbacking.
  • Depending on the situation, (1) stop, (2) block whoever sent it, (3) screenshot the offense, and (4) talk to an adult about what to do next if you are being cyberbullied. It rhymes, so it’s easy to remember: Stop, block, screenshot, and talk. No excuses.

Stop, block, screenshot, and talk.


Strike a balance ⚖⏳

  • Prioritize your homework, chores, and other important things before getting sucked into the social vortex.
  • Look people in the eye when they talk to you, not down at your device. (That is…unless you’re talking to Siri or Cortana or another digital assistant, who doesn’t have eyes so, look wherever.)

Build a strong team 👨‍👩‍👧‍👦👩‍👩‍👧‍👧👨‍👨‍👦‍👦

  • Surround yourself with people online who support you and encourage you to play to your core.
  • Accept friend requests only from people you have met and trust. Does their profile photo/name look legit, but you’re still unsure? Wait. Get confirmation first.
  • Fill your feed with positive role models and inputs. If, say, a Victoria’s Secret post has got you feeling like you hate your awesome bod, unfollow. If you want to follow someone famous, make sure you’re following their personal, verified account.
  • Block anyone who sends you something inappropriate or rude. You don’t need that in your life. Engage with people who send you good things instead.

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Use your mic for good 🎤💬

  • Imagine you’re at a press conference with a microphone pointed at you and hundreds, no thousands of press and fans waiting for you to say something. Social media is that microphone. Your friends and followers — and potentially the world — are your audience. Use your mic to do good things.

Can you think of other ways to uphold these standards? Tell us!