September 22, 2017

Mashable on the new anonymous app that’s going viral with teens

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Can anonymous apps, those that don’t require users to ID themselves, ever be used for good? Because, TBH (to be honest), it’s pretty easy to be a jerk when no one knows who you are. A new app aims to prove that people can also be kind when posting anonymously. Teens already ❤️  it. Mashable breaks it down.

September 11, 2017

Time reports on why the teenage brain is so hard to understand

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Advances in brain imaging allow us to know more than ever about why teenagers act so reckless and emotional. Read this article in Time to learn, for example, why it matters that the prefrontal cortex matures last (hint: decision-making, planning, and self-control). Add virtual interaction via social media, and things can get complicated, quickly. It has never been more important to be a role model — online and off — and “help young people navigate difficult situations that are increasingly common among teens and adolescents.” #SocialLockerRoom

September 8, 2017

Google’s new Digital Citizenship and Safety course

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Made for teachers but an excellent resource for parents as well, Google’s new free online course is called Digital Citizenship and Safety. It has six units divided into just two lessons each that will take you less than 15 minutes to complete. Our favorite unit is called “Manage Your Online Reputation,” which defines a digital footprint as, “everything on the internet that is about you.” It’s a great place to learn the basics. Check it out!

August 30, 2017

The Wall Street Journal on internet monitoring tools

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Most children use internet browsers to do school work, and many social media apps are also available online (like Facebook). But should you use monitoring tools to keep tabs on your kids there? This Wall Street Journal article says sure, but ask their permission first. Though we are not fans of spying🕵🚫, we support any approach that requires ongoing conversations. Huddle up!

August 30, 2017

The New York Times on how to help kids disrupt “bro culture”

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Don’t know what bro culture is? It’s “the dangerous normalization of sexual objectification, harassment, assault, and homophobia.” So: Not good. This New York Times article blames social media for its pervasiveness AND recommends following positive role models to combat it…which can also be done on social. Head to our Wall of Fame for suggestions.

August 16, 2017

WRAL on 6 ways to help tweens, teens who are engaging in dangerous activities online and off

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From the potentially deadly Hot Water Challenge to the newest anonymous app Sarahah, teens and tweens are (still) engaging in very dangerous activities. The latest article in WRAL’s Go Ask Mom column gives parents excellent advice on how to respond, including having open conversations — not lectures! — with your kids. It’s time to huddle.

August 1, 2017

The Washington Post on Terrelle Pryor’s use of social media to inspire kids to work as hard as he does

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Redskins wide receiver Terrelle Pryor on why he uses Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat: “…kids are always on social media and hopefully when they are looking at me, they are like, ‘I want to go work hard. That inspires me to go do some great things.’” We couldn’t say it any better. Read the full story in The Washington Post.

July 29, 2017

Wired reports on the Blue Whale Challenge

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The online game supposedly encourages players to hurt themselves over 50 days, culminating in suicide. It was increasingly mentioned in the news this summer when teen deaths were blamed on it. All coverage we saw encourage parents to monitor their children more closely; we encouraged them to talk to their kids more often. We choose Huddling over helicoptering every single day. In this article, Jessi Hempel dives in and aims to “Kill the Blue Whale Challenge.”

July 6, 2017

The Independent reports on 11-year-old who shows how vulnerable your devices are

Reuben Paul may be only 11 years old, but his tech prowess is stunning parents and cyber experts. This summer, he began spreading the word about how smart cars, fridges, lights and even teddy bears can be used to spy on or harm people. Upworthy covered the story.

June 30, 2017

Upworthy on how moderate use of social media “builds resilience and wellbeing in youth”

The U.K.’s Education Policy Institute (EPI) just published the results of a study on “Children and Young People’s Mental Health” with a strong focus on the effects social media. The findings reported in The Independent: Unless children are “extreme internet users”, the benefits of social media outweigh the drawbacks. 

June 7, 2017

The New York Times on the secret social media lives of teenagers

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You may find some of the info in this New York Times article discouraging. Here’s the good news: “…teens still say that their parents have the biggest influence on determining what is appropriate and inappropriate online.” That’s YOU! We can help. 

June 5, 2017

U.S. News & World Report says Harvard rescinded 10 acceptances over obscene posts

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U.S. News & World Report says that the posts, which were shared in private online messages by the formerly Harvard-bound students, were “sexually explicit and sometimes racist.” Lesson: When they go low — no matter who “they” are, even your BFFs in a private chat — you go high. Every. Single. Time.

June 1, 2017

Quartz on the perfect graduation gift to scrub social media accounts

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If your child is more like an adult and late to winning the game of social, their social media pages may contain posts a future employer or college admissions officer shouldn’t see. As they say in the biz, and as reported by Quartz, there’s an app for that. (Well, technically, it’s a widget.) 

May 31, 2017

Ed Tech Times on youth social media and smartphone use

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Social media is a game you can win or lose. At The Social Institute, we do all we can to give parents and other role models the tools they need to equip kids to win. We like to think that the author of this thoughtful article in Ed Tech Times would agree with our approach. (But we didn’t ask because he’s busy being the faculty director for professional education at Boston University’s School of Education.)   

May 25, 2017

The Daily Dot on cyberbacking fourth-grade activist Little Miss Flint

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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.