November 8, 2017

USA Today on self cyberbullying: Teens anonymously target themselves online, study finds

If you needed one more reason to cyberback those you see being cyberbullied, this is it: They may be bullying themselves to see who will stand up for them. Reports on this new trend called “self bullying” have been picking up the last couple of weeks. At the end of this USA Today article, a study author suggests that parents and educators talk openly about the phenomenon. 

November 1, 2017

ABC on what parents should know about the “constant pressure” of social media for teens

ABC logo

Watch a group of 15- to 17-year-old girls candidly discuss the stresses they experience around social media with an ABC reporter. The discussion concludes when their mothers, who secretly watched the discussion from another room, join their daughters. The moms were shocked by some of what they heard. Maybe you will be, too.

October 31, 2017

Student Insider Kailey Jackson on using social media for college success

Kailey Jackson

With just months to go before she leaves for college, high school senior (and Student Insider!) Kailey Jackson shares her tips on using social media to make college awesome. From meeting new friends to promoting your major and connecting with alumni, her insights and tactical how-tos are spot on. 

October 31, 2017

Q&A: A 7th grader’s Perler bead smartphone teaches her peers about smart phone use

Perler bead smartphone

Her parents wouldn’t allow her to get a smartphone, so instead of being the only 7th-grader without one, Kylee made one. With tiny plastic beads and an iron. 👊 We talk with her about her process, what her friends think about her “phone,” and what she teaches THEM about smart phone use.

October 24, 2017

Q&A: How ESPN SportsCenter reporter Sarah Spain wins the game of social media

Sarah Spain at ESPN Radio

Social media role model 👍 and ESPN reporter 📻 Sarah Spain takes a lot of crap from trolls on Twitter. And they didn’t let up when she starred in the viral video #MoreThanMean, which revealed just how much cyberbullying female sports reporters put up with. Read our interview with her to learn how she overcomes the negativity and stays positive.

October 19, 2017

Student Insider Krizhna Bayudan on balancing tech and life

Student Insider Krizhna Bayudan

We asked high school senior Krizhna Bayudan, who is working with The Social Institute this fall as a Student Insider, how she ⚖ balances life and technology. It’s not easy, but it’s possible! Read about how Krizhna and her friends at Lahainaluna High School 🌺 win at social by striking a balance every day.

October 19, 2017

HuffPost on what drives the need for a perfect Instagram post


In “Real Life or Just for Likes?” travel blogger and HuffPost contributor Felicia Broccolo (@CiaoFeliciaTravel) reveals what it takes to get the shot that will get the most likes AND what drives her to such perfection. She says millennials can relate to her predicament: “…even if the moment the picture was taken wasn’t glamorous, you better believe that our Instagram post still will be.” Read it here

October 10, 2017

Netflix reports on benefits of parents watching teens’ favorite shows with them

Netflix logo

The best way to prepare students to win at social is by talking with them about it. Often. Turns out that watching their favorite programs with them can really help. 📺👀👍 According to a Netflix press release, “When it comes to tough conversations (think sex, bullying, and stress), parents (79%) and teens (65%) agree that watching the same shows could help start a dialogue. And most teens (71%) even admit that having their parents watch their favorite shows could help them better understand what’s going on in their lives.” 

September 27, 2017

Instagram strengthens commitment to safety and kindness

The company hopes that these new changes will help “create a safe and welcoming environment” on Instagram. All users can now choose who to block from commenting on their posts. If your account is public (meaning anyone can see what you post), you can go one step further and choose who is allowed to comment on your posts. And if you see someone who needs help while live streaming, you can report it anonymously. See the Instagram blog for more info.

September 27, 2017

The Verge reports that Twitter just doubled its character limit

The Verge V logo

Never a dull moment in social media. Yesterday, The Verge announced that Twitter is testing a new character limit. 😳 If you don’t work in social media or use Twitter often, allowing users to tweet 280 characters at a time instead of just 140 characters may not seem like a huge deal. It is. Remember the “New Coke” in the ’90s? Or when Facebook started sorting the newsfeed by popularity (instead of chronology) in ’09? It’s like that. 

September 22, 2017

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

Mashable logo

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 15, 2017

Why we call our digital parent portal the Social Locker Room

Whistle emoji on green background

“Suit up!” “Game on!” We use lots of sports metaphors and lingo on this website. Why? Because thinking about social media as a game that can be won or lost is a simple but powerful way to convey just how important it is that students use social media for good. When they don’t win this game, they can lose — their self-esteem, their friends, their reputation, even their life. And where do players and coaches get the most work done off the field? The locker room. 👊

September 11, 2017

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

Time magazine logo

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

Google for Education logo

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 31, 2017

Q&A: The positive impact of “what if” parental coaching

Gail Marie at home

The best reason to run through “What if” scenarios with your child? Not only does she feel empowered, but she also knows that her parents know what to do when something bad happens. It builds tremendous trust. Laura Tierney talks to Gail Marie about growing up with parents who still use “What ifs” to prepare her for what’s ahead (even though she’s in her 40’s now…not that she’ll ever have it all figured out).