February 22, 2018

Blaming Smartphones, but Missing the Point

Blog on Learning and Development

The Blog on Learning and Development (BOLD) interviewed psychologist Candice Odgers, who explains why the use of digital media by adolescents is not a black-and-white issue. She also tries to set the record straight about the research being done on social media’s role in adolescent suicides (at less than 1%, it’s minuscule).

February 15, 2018

What we can do about the “damage being done” by social media

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Have you seen Sean Parker’s Axios interview? He’s a former Facebook executive who speculates about the damage social media is “doing to our children’s brains” and says the creators of the most popular platforms knew what they were building. We pulled the juiciest bits from that interview and added our 👊 you’ve-got-this 💪 responses.

January 26, 2018

3 ways kids hide online from parents’ prying eyes

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Though we understand parents’ desire to monitor and protect their kids, it’s impossible to know everything they do or say on social media. In fact, it’s pretty easy to hide from prying eyes. Spend the time you’d normally use helicoptering 🚁 to huddle 👨‍👩‍👦‍👦 instead. Help kids make the best moves. 

January 26, 2018

Teach students to use social media (the right way) and the possibilities are endless

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A teacher in Kansas showed his students the power of Twitter (in the classroom!) to spread information quickly, and the potential for good that can have. #loveit Read the article on NPR.

January 25, 2018

Harvard blog on social media and teen anxiety

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“How parents can help their kids navigate the pressures of their digital lives — without pulling the plug on the positives” 👍 is the subtitle of this blog post. The writer does a great job quickly putting the problem of teen anxiety into a historical context and then focusing on technology’s role in today’s version of the same problem. Short on time? ⏰ Scroll to the last section, “For parents, strategies on mitigating anxiety — without overreacting.” So. Right. On.  

January 24, 2018

The Washington Post on what teens wish their parents knew about social media


That title says it all. Head to The Washington Post to be enlightened.✨

January 24, 2018

USA Today on the effects of social media on college recruiting

How you use social media — not just what you post but also who you follow and what you “like” — as a younger student may well determine your college 🏈🏑🏀🏒⚽️⛸⚾️🏹🎾⛳️🏐 future. The USA Today article gives common-sense advice and includes tips on what to do when (not if!) you make a mistake.

January 12, 2018

The Economist says cutting adolescents’ use of social media will not solve their problems

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“Only about 1% of the variability in young people’s mental wellbeing can be explained by social-media or smartphone use. One British study suggests that eating breakfast regularly is more than three times as important.” Put bread in the toaster, and then read more in The Economist. ☕️🍞

January 12, 2018

The Washington Post on what teens wish their parents knew about social media

This article in The Washington Posts starts with three secrets teens and tweens are keeping from their parents (like how taking away one device doesn’t make a difference if they can access others), and ends with four requests (like how they’d like to talk to their parents about sexting). 

January 4, 2018

NPR on 5 things to know about screen time right now

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This article by NPR provides a list of behaviors to look for in your child to help determine whether they are too dependent on the screen. At the same time, it reports on a study showing that “limits on screen time…were not necessarily associated with positive outcomes in children.” In fact, the opposite was found.

January 2, 2018

Time covers the secret language of girls on Instagram

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The popular photo-sharing app Instagram is far more than a photo-sharing app for most girls. It’s how they learn who like them and what their peers really think of them. It’s where they “can obsess over their friendships, monitoring social ups and downs in extreme detail. They can strategically post at high traffic hours when they know peers are killing time between homework assignments.” This November 2017 Times article is a gold mine.

January 2, 2018

TechCrunch explains the difference between good and bad Facebooking

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👎 Bad Facebooking = “…giving in to cravings for another digital content snack.”

👍 Good Facebooking = “….deepen bonds with your immediate circle, cement you into a larger community, keep old relationships from dying out, foster connections with those aligned by interest or circumstance and trigger real-world meetups.” This TechCrunch article is packed with insight.

December 13, 2017

Social media monitoring tools: When 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.

December 12, 2017

Wired covers the A-B-C’s of keeping kids safe online

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This Wired article offers a few technical tips for parents, but much of the advice mirrors our own: Adjust as needed, be an example, and communicate constantly

December 6, 2017

Wired on how to keep your kids safe online

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Though there are some technical pieces of advice in this wonderful article in Wired, the focus is on regular conversations between parents and kids. Dave Lewis, a global security advocate at Akamai Technologies, is quoted extensively. Our favorite: “Parents should act as positive guardians.”