Our VMS community is buzzing with conversation around digital citizenship and safe use of social media. Eileen Calandro, a Social Media Educator, shared a lively and informative parent workshop plus two powerful assemblies for our third through eighth grade VMS students.
I was struck by two impactful, yet simple messages:
- Talk to your kids about social media.
They will learn about it elsewhere if you don’t bring it up!
- You are the example, so be a good one.
Put down your phone and be present.
Eileen shared with the students that their own digital footprint never goes away (even through Snap-Chat!) just like footprints on the moon. This fact makes it even more important to always leave your best trail behind.
Eileen outlines helpful guidelines, suggested topics of conversations to have with your children and plenty of excellent resources.
The book titled Unselfie, authored by Michele Borba, describes how we live in a hyper-connected, social-media-saturated society where snapping selfies has resulted in “Selfie Syndrome.” According to Borba’s research, the next generation is so affected by this syndrome that teens today are 40 percent less empathetic than they were just a generation ago, and narcissism has increased 58 percent during that same period.
I encourage you to check out the book Unselfie as it wisely identifies effective ways to cultivate and model empathy and kindness with young people. It is important to talk to your child about negative behavior when you witness people behaving poorly and have conversations about what could have been done differently. Talking to children about why people might behave inappropriately creates the path to empathy.
I encourage you to join the movement to cultivate empathy in our youth and change the appalling statistics on the lack of empathy in our society.
Find more resources here.