The Impact of Social Media

How are you and your students using social media?

More and more we need to talk to kids about the power of social. Both the good and the bad.  Here are two recent examples:

Recently my Facebook page has been filled with people doing the #ALSIcebucketchallenge.  I’m sure you’ve seen or heard of it.  Everyone from kids to former presidents have dumped buckets to ice on their heads to raise money and awareness for ALS.

icebucket-640x360The posts and hashtag have gone viral. Millions of dollars have been raised for the organization for research.  All because one man decided to dump ice water on his head for charity.

A side benefit of this has been some increased dialogue about other issues. Some people will say why dump the water, just donate the money.  Others say that they don’t support some of the research by ALS and are opting to donate their money to other organizations that better align with their personal beliefs.

The point of this example is to have a conversation with your children or students.  Talk to them about the pros and cons of these types of viral trends and what it means to “Like” or support the trend.

Another example is a story about a young man who made a social media mistake.

Check out the following Tweet from a Penn State football coach:

This simple tweet speaks volumes to what can happen when kids do not use social media correctly.  Coach hand said in an interview, ““If a guy makes the decision to post or RT stuff that degrades women, references drug use or cyber-bullying crap, then I can make the decision to drop them,” Hand said. “Especially if I have discussed it with them prior, and especially in today’s climate of athletics.”

Are we truly educating kids about what they are “Liking”, Sharing or “ReTweeting”?  If a student, “Likes” something on social media it means they are showing support for that post.  Some may think it is funny or whatever, the point is that the post may cost them their future.  Even as adults we need to be careful of the message we are sending when we “Like”, “ReTweet” or “Pin” something.

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