Saturday, November 3, 2012

The Other Side Of Social Media

Facebook, Twitter, Instagram...most of us participate and use these portals to further our friendships, or grow our brand.  This technology is fast and fun.  Until someone you love gets hurt.

The invention of social media has occurred during my adult lifeIn the good 'ole days of the '80s and '90s, we were lucky to have call waiting, or a pager. I certainly didn't navigate my high school years in the Twitter fishbowl.  In fact, I still have a few folded paper notes in my treasure chest, relics from a distant past.  Today's teens have grown up in an elementary culture that teaches zero tolerance, bucket filling, pillars of character, and the like.  I find It disheartening that high school is a different story.  (I'm not intending to generalize.  There are certainly students who will carry our teaching--and their learning--in their hearts and souls, throughout their school years.)

My middle children attend a school district that has a strong policy against bullying.  The teachers are supportive.  Every single thing that should be in place to protect a student is in effect.  However.  People can be sneaky, snarky, cruel.  Fifteen-year-olds discover ways to fly under the radar.  When the one being hurt does speak up, the resulting discipline can easily make a situation worse.

My sweet daughter is in the middle of this scenario.  As her mom, I want to jump up and scream.  I'm finding that the term "bully" is very much denied by those using social media to hurt her.  But bullying is what it is.  I know how we describe it to our elementary students, I hear the examples that young children share.  The very-young-adults might try to reject the term to describe their behavior and choices.  Sorry, kids.  It is what it is.  

If your child has ever ran towards you with a cell phone, saying, "Mom, help!", I feel your pain.  

The ripples of discord among the young reach far across a family.
Let's do what we can, as the older generation, to encourage responsible use of technology by the youth of today.    


  1. This makes me anxious Chrissy and I don't even have children yet. It is getting more and more difficult to protect children from bullying as it is coming from all sides. It is sad that the friendly environment that I create in my second grade classroom will not be carried on through their middle and high school years. Thanks for sharing and for making me think.

    Second Grade Math Maniac
    Second Grade Freebies

    1. Casey, thanks for commenting! When I wrote the post, I didn't dig too deeply into the disparity between what we present in elementary and middle school, followed by the high school experience. I'm glad you touched on it....and I want to take the opportunity to say that I am sure there are many students who carry their learning from character education into their young adult lives. All is not lost!


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