Your Child’s Social Media Usage

Snapchat, Instagram, Twitter, Tumblr, Vine, Yik Kak, Facebook–it’s hard to keep up with all of the options available for social media usage.  Over the winter break I spent some time with my nieces and nephews and heard (and saw) how they are using many of these tools.  The Snapchats were flying (after waiting a prescribed amount of time before responding that was greater than or equal to the amount of time it took the sender to reply) and although they were away from home, they were never disconnected from their friends.  And I have to say, what I saw was not anything that was too concerning to me.  But I know I saw what I was allowed to see.

I watched an interesting segment called “Being Thirteen:  The Secret World of Teens” by Anderson Cooper on CNN over break.  One observation made (after working with a panel of middle school students) was that really they are not addicted to social media, they are addicted to each other.  That made me stop and think.  I think I’ve had this backwards for a long time.  Perhaps my opinions are shaped by watching a group of teenagers in the same room who are all staring intently at their phones often even Snapchatting with each other while in the same room.  (My nieces and nephews did this as well–often times to communicate something funny without the rest of the adults in the room knowing!)  But perhaps this constant connection is more about the need and access to always be connected to their friends than the actual tool they are using.

This segment was eye opening to say the least.  It certainly made me think I wanted to share it with our PTSC parents as most parents that I talk to about this don’t really realize the depth of what is happening online and don’t even know where to begin to monitor their child’s usage.  Perhaps this group of kids selected for this segment were ones that would up the shock value for what they were posting online, or perhaps it is more normal than what we think.  Either way, it is something every parent should watch and consider for themselves how to monitor their child’s online activities.  Are you checking what your child is Tweeting or posting on Instagram?  How do you handle Snapchat?

DISCLAIMER:  Anderson Cooper does not really filter much of what he discovers.   Watching this is not for the faint of heart–and the content shared is real, and often highly offensive.  I don’t often share things like this–but that’s how important I believe it is for parents to see this.

What I walked away contemplating most was how we can create life-affirming opportunities for community for our students.  If I think back to my teenage years–I can certainly remember some of my own behavior which was not so life-affirming.  What I also remember were the great adult mentors that I had shaping my beliefs about the right and wrong ways to interact with others.  I know those mentors made a difference in my life.  For whom are you making a difference?

Looking for some resources after watching this?  Here are great places to start:

PTSC Standouts:

Here’s a great email I received over break–way to go BGMS!

Dear Dr. Schmidt,

I would like to send a huge thank you to the angels that donated to the angel tree at Boone Grove Middle School, but I’m not able to because it is all done anonymously. I thought maybe you could mention them as PTSC standouts. I would really like them to know that their generosity did not go unnoticed and that it was much appreciated.

This holiday season was going to be very difficult for my family and me. The past few years, my husband and both of my children have had several serious medical issues. This year we were financially drained because of it.

The angels truly made this Christmas a joy for my family. Their generosity was incredible. I would not have been able to give to my children like they did. I am forever grateful to them.

Email PTSC standouts to Dr. Schmidt at stacey.schmidt@ptsc.k12.in.us.

Important Dates:

  • January 15:  End of 2nd Quarter/1st Semester
  • January 27:  Online Day BGHS and BGMS
  • February 12:  Snow Day Make-Up Day or Break Day
  • February 15:  President’s Day–No School
  • February 17:  Online Day BGHS and BGMS
  • March 16:  Online Day BGHS and BGMS
  • March 17:  End of Third Quarter
  • March 21-25:  Spring Break Week–No School

Things to Know/Do:

  • Now hiring substitute teachers! Please contact Linda Dusek at the administration building if you are interested in substitute teaching and she will help you start the application process and discuss qualifications.
  • Do your friends and neighbors know how to find our weekly updates? Even if your neighbors don’t have kids in school tell them about our weekly updates so they can hear the great news of what happens at PTSC!
  • Every Wednesday is a 30-minute delayed start. If we have a 2-hour delay, students will arrive at school 2 hours after the regular start time for the building.
  • We are also looking for bus drivers to drive our extra-curricular runs. If you are interested, please apply online. It’s a great way to earn some money and attend extra-curricular events!
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