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Social Media Safety for Children | Divine Savior Academy Blog

Social Media Safety for Children

DSA Students Volunteer at Indiana Soccer Camp
June 29, 2014
Important Back-to-School Information from Principal Troge
July 21, 2014

As more and more children are accessing the Internet on mobile devices like tablets and smart phones, social media use among our youth continues to increase. According to Pew Research, in 2012, nearly 40% of teenagers owned a smart phone, 25% a tablet device, and over 80% were active on social media. Although social media can be a positive way for children to connect with others, social media is also a source of concern for parents, guardians and teachers.

Today???s social media doesn???t just include the common networks like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Social media is defined as any place online where a person interacts with others by posting, commenting or sharing media. Therefore, social media includes personal blogs, websites, wikis, forums and chat rooms. It also includes YouTube, podcasts and other videos posted online. Social media even includes comments posted in reaction to articles, blogs or websites.

???Many children using the Internet don???t realize how far-reaching the umbrella of social media is,??? says Technology Teacher Michael Babler. ???They don???t realize that social media includes almost everything they do online. More importantly, students don???t always understand the future effects of their social media use today.???

In response to the need for social media education, middle and high school students at Divine Savior Academy attend a social media seminar on the very first day of school. This seminar not only informs students of the rules of social media, but also of the responsibilities associated with using these platforms. Just as children are taught how to interact appropriately with their peers in the classroom and at home, parents and teachers must also teach children how to interact appropriately online.

The following is a short list of guidelines that is presented to DSA students to encourage positive and valuable experiences when using social media.

  1. Be responsible. It is every student???s responsibility to use social media in a positive way. Students are held accountable for content they post online. Remember that if you share information, you are responsible for it. Even if you did not take the picture, make the comment or write the article, you are held responsible for sharing the information.
  2. Use caution. Do not post or share the following: confidential or personal information about yourself or anyone else, passwords or login information, copyrighted items and photos or videos without permission.
  3. Consider the future. What you post online now will follow you forever. Do not post anything that you would not say or do in front of your parents, teachers, school administration or future employers.
  4. Be honest, thoughtful and respectful. Avoid obscene or crude language, sexual comments, bullying (also known as cyberbullying), material related to alcohol, drugs or illegal behavior, discussions that are harmful to the reputation of others, including your school.
  5. Accept social media invitations only from people that you know.
  6. Cyberbullying is a serious offense. Avoid it, and report cases that you see to parents, teachers or school administration.
  7. Use privacy settings, but remember that even with the strictest privacy settings, your information can become public. Information that you delete is stored online indefinitely. Assume that whatever you post online is public and permanent.

It is important to note that most social media sites have an age restriction of 13 years old, due to the Children???s Online Privacy Protection Act (also known as COPPA). According to COPPA, it is illegal for companies to collect personal information from children under the age of 13 without the consent of a parent or guardian.

???More and more, I am stressing the importance of online education at school and at home. It is crucial to teach our children not only the dangers of social media, but also the responsible use of these platforms. I encourage parents and guardians to begin conversations with their children at home and to seek support from their educational institutions,??? comments DSA Principal Ben Troge.

Divine Savior Academy is a Christian academy dedicated to excellence. Located in Miami proper, DSA is the only private Christian school in Doral and serves the community with early childhood, elementary school, middle school, and high school programs. Accredited by AISF, SACS, AI, and NCPSA, Divine Savior Academy provides a college-prep curriculum that prepares students academically, athletically, socially, artistically, and spiritually in a safe and moral environment.

For more information about Divine Savior Academy, visit DivineSaviorAcademy.com or call 305-597-4545.

Dana Kirchoff
Dana Kirchoff
Dana Kirchoff is the Director of Communications at Divine Savior Academy.

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