Column: Social media advice for students is good advice for everyone – The Globe
WORTHINGTON — Social media helps us interact with people and it’s like having a conversation. It can empower parents, students, and teachers, helping to build a stronger community. This technology is a relatively new way of sharing information, and care should be taken with the use of social media and platforms.
Share with caution: respect privacy, know when not to share, and think about how others see you.
Protect your personal information: name, date of birth, address, telephone number, social security number, e-mail address. Only your parents or guardians can have this information. Never give out your personal information to people you don’t know.
Understand the potential impact on your future: Photos, audio, videos, texts, comments. Many post-secondary employers verify social media accounts; some even ask for your username. Think about how someone would react to what you post. This information is accessible to others and years later could become a problem for your professional or personal life.
Don’t rush into fake news: Understand that just because something is online doesn’t mean it’s true.
Beware of scams: Determine the validity of websites and other information sources that use manipulation, unsubstantiated claims, bogus offers or prices, and other online scams. They might try to steal your identity. Phishing is an attempt to scam or trick you into sharing your username or other personal information through email, advertisements, or sites that look like you know them. Scammers try to trick you into opening attachments that can put viruses on your computer. Remember that a website or advertisement cannot tell if there is a problem with your cell phone or computer. If you fall for a scam, don’t panic. Tell your parents, teacher or another trusted adult right away.
Avoid problems: Ignore someone who asks you something you’re not sure about. Block these people. Most social media sites won’t show the person that you’ve blocked them. Fake profiles are easy to create, so always check before accepting a friend/follower request. Look at their friends list as another way to check if they are a real person. If little is published, it could be a fake profile.
Protect your passwords: change them every year. Use strong passwords with numbers, lowercase and uppercase letters, and special characters. Protect your device from anyone else using it by setting up a password or other security options. Never share your password except with your parents or guardians.
Be nice: Say things nicely and be careful with your tone. Keep it positive. Treat others with empathy and consideration. Respond to negativity constructively and civilly. Behind every username there is a real person with real feelings, treat them as you would like to be treated. Can’t stand mean behavior. Stand up for kindness and positivity. Online bullying can be cruel and hurtful. If it turns into bullying, talk to someone who can help – a parent, teacher, or school counselor. Make good decisions when choosing what to say or whether to say anything. Misunderstandings can happen, sometimes it’s better to talk face to face.
Get help and report abuse: Internet users may not be who they say they are. Know who they are before responding. Ask questions or get help from an adult if you can’t tell for sure. Getting help is a sign of strength. Sometimes talking about it can help you think about options, find solutions, or sort through feelings.
Build and maintain a good online and offline reputation: The many things that make you unique need to be visible externally and online. It is difficult for families to see their loved ones do shocking things that they will find difficult to understand. We want our students to also reflect the person we see during the online school day. Teachers and staff trust and believe in the pride of Troy (personal responsibility, respect, integrity, discipline and commitment) that you have worked hard on. You have the power to change and influence the world. Go out and make a difference.