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U.S. News & World Report says Harvard rescinded 10 acceptances over obscene posts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 31, 2017

3 conversations to have with your child about social media before summer break

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Huddles: That’s what we call short one-on-one conversations between parents and kids about ways to win at social. With lots of summertime social media free time ahead☀️⏱☀️, it’s a good idea to talk with your child about how to use it best. Huddle up!

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.

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

WCNC-TV on 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

Forbes reports on 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 are less strict about technology

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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

espnW on 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 a technology contract, too

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It’s time to turn the traditional technology 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 together with a family tech contract.

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

espnW reports on the teen who shut down body-shaming with one 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, as reported by espnW, went viral.