Mayor Brown’s Learn2Earn and Social Media | Arts & Culture

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Mayor Brown’s Learn2Earn and Social Media
Mayor Brown’s Learn2Earn and Social Media

Mayor Brown’s Learn2Earn and Social Media

Teaching Social Media safety, dangers of
Cyberbullying, Sexting and Texting the
realization from talking to teens in
attendance at Mayor Alvin Brown’s
Learn2Earn Experience at University of
North Florida; parents are not engaged as
they should be.  
Summer is not the time to let the brain drain,
but to rejuvenate and invigorate. Parents don’t
let Social Media take the place of learning
opportunities and importantly family time.

Technology and Social Media:
Social Media is playing a part in the dynamics
of families so parents must be aware, cautious and
diligent in keeping Social Media content safe and
friendly. Technology has become so invasive that
children will carry their phones and tablets everywhere
texting, photographing, video recording and interact
with their friends even while participating in family
outings. The term “multitasking” takes on a new
meaning when you observe youth and teens with
Vacations are for re-building or re-establishing the
family bond, connecting by verbal communication
and physical contact like holding hands, family
hugs, family meals, and the occasional smooch from
mom, dad and grandparents.

Proactively by Parents:
Parents need to take a proactive approach with
discussing and interacting with Social Media
sites with their children. There is nothing wrong
with asking your child who they are texting,
where is the picture they took going, and seeing
their Youtube or Vimeo sites. This keeps parents
engaged, aware and in the mix with their kids.
Participation is a key in communicating with your
child, not creating an atmosphere of spying,
and interrogation. Proactively establish an open
communication where honesty is encouraged.
Teach morals, values and common sense.

Apps Attack:
The development of Apps has created more
opportunities for youth and teens to connect with
total strangers. How would a parent feel if their child
was engaged in a sexually explicit conversation
while sitting at the dinner table or driving in the car
on a family vacation? This does happen, so parents
need to keep the lines of communication open and
that their children understand and respect the parent’s
expectations for the use of Social Media. Parents
make sure your kids understand that you have to be
their Facebook/Social Media friends, NO EXCUSES,
friends on Instagram, and Following on Twitter.
Don’t make demands, but show through caring and
a parental responsibility, if you have to negotiate do it
for the kid’s safety and a parents peace of mind.

New Digital Worlds:
Facebook and other online social networks are a
“brave new world,” digital worlds that are
growing where microprocessors dictate, direct
and determine the direction of lives. Online social
communities are growing and they represent the good,
bad, and scary aspects of human/social behaviors.
That can be intimidating for a lot of parents; 78% of
teenagers have a social media account
(the vast majority of those are on Facebook),
but a growing number on Pinterest,Twitter and Google+.
Parents should be tech-savvy to the best of their
abilities to understand their children.  How do you get
on the same Social Media page with your kids?
How do you protect your children from the dangers
of the Internet?  Even if youth/teens think they are
“experts” they are still exposed to profanity, sexual
content, Cyberbullying, stalking and other dangers
that are mental and emotional, but the potential for
physical contact is there. To help parents learn the
language and explore digital terrains as a family some
tips are given to help for understanding.

Getting on the Same Page:
If your kids have a Facebook (FB) create an agreement
as a family how you use this social media tool. Don’t
post personal information about family, don’t post
phone numbers, and agree on photos and videos.
There should be no profanity used or accepted on
their sites (pages). Parents must monitor their child’s
site by being a friend and not blocked from any content.

Privacy Policies:
Make sure everyone understands the personal privacy
policies and there are consequences if violated. Don’t
just tell your children, but engage with them to ask their
opinion on how much personal information can or
should post publicly. Give them a chance to talk about
potential risks of sharing personal information online.
Let your kids talk about your expectations and concerns. 

Be Friends:
Friend your kids so you can see their content and their
friends. You are not the Internet police, but a guide for
kids. Your job as a parent is to be aware of what is going
on in your children’s lives that includes the Internet.
Parents are not their child’s friends, but parents use
parenting skills and establish a level of respect and even
obedience. Teenagers’ relationships take place online now
faster than in person so parents need to “see” who friends are.  
The recent tragedies of suicides from cyber-bullying, murder
hits in high schools, adult stalkers and rapes of both boys and
girls should alarm parents.

Perception is Powerful:
Your child’s online activity is powerful and will affect their
future employment opportunities, entrance into higher education,
and how society perceives their worthiness and contribution.
Online content never goes away so when content is posted that
young person is judged and their parents. Help your kids
understand how they’re portraying themselves online:
Remind your child that potential employers or college
admissions officers look at Facebook profiles and Twitter
feeds of applicants and content can affect their acceptance.

Parents should help build morals and values in their children,
especially remind them that their values and morals extend to
the online world. They are accountable for not just texts, but
photos, videos and other digital elements. Parents hold your
children accountable for what they do, and be accountable as
a parent yourself.
Technology is a privilege, not a “right.” Your must teach children
that privileges are earned and can be taken away if not used well. 
Teaching youth this now will transfer to other areas of life too.

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