Social Media

Colleges are watching, what do your kids post?

Delaney Ruston, MD
June 13, 2017

TECH TALK TUESDAY #71: COLLEGES ARE WATCHING, WHAT DO YOUR KIDS POST?

Picture of a building

Last week, Harvard rescinded the acceptances of 10 incoming freshmen for posting racist, sexually offensive material in a Facebook messaging group titled “Harvard memes for horny bourgeois teens.” As intense as the consequence may seem, this is an important reminder that nothing on the web is private, even private chat groups.

A person is responsible for what they post, a lesson our kids and teens might not always appreciate. According to a 2015 survey by the Pew Research Center, 88% of teens surveyed believe that people share too much information about themselves on social media. I am definitely going to ask my teens what they feel is too much information.  Also, 75% of teens said they either “frequently” or “occasionally" see people “stirring up drama on social media.” That is a lot of posts and messages that are all about drama!

We know it is popular for teens to have a main Instagram account and then a separate one, that is thought to be private, for closer friends--called a Finsta account. This is a great time to talk about these alternative accounts. Are they really as private as one might think? For some, they create a supportive small group so I would start with the positive—why might a person want a Finstagram?

In talking with younger kids I learned a cool analogy from a teacher I met while doing screenings in Hong Kong. He tells his 1st-grade students to think of the web as the ocean and when you are in it, how important it is to wear your swimsuit.

The action taken by Harvard is a great way to remind your teens about what they choose to post on social media. The students involved probably had no idea their posts would be seen by anyone but themselves, they were in a private chat. But “private chat” is a misnomer. These kids are the cream of the crop, and they didn’t have the wisdom to keep inappropriate messages out of the conversation.  

For this week’s TTT, let's talk about posts and privacy. Below are some questions. These discussions work best when adults share their experiences and observations--not just asking youth about their experiences. We are all in this together.
** A little tip, I generally print out the TTT to bring to the dinner table since we do not use tech during dinner.

  • What are the pros and cons of more private groups within social media platforms, like private chats and Finstagram accounts?
  • Have you seen friends overshare or stir up drama?
  • What do you think is appropriate and inappropriate to post online?
  • What are your thoughts about Harvard’s decision?

We would love for you to share this TTT any way that works for you, whether that’s on social media or via a newsletter. If you want to send it out in your newsletter we just ask that you credit us and link to our website, and let us know at lisa@screenagersmovie.com.

HOST A SCREENING to help spark change.
FIND EVENT LISTINGS

Do you organize professional development in schools? We now have a 6-hour, 3-part training module. Request more information here Professional Development.

Stay in touch with the Screenagers community on Facebook, Twitter and leave comments below.

Join
441
others who have made the pledge!
Thank you for making the pledge!
Please try again
Book page button

Available now - Parenting in the Screen Age, from Screenagers filmmaker Delaney Ruston MD

Order Here
Find A screening Button

Find a Screening - Find a screening of our movies in your local community

Learn More
Screenagers Podcast

Screenagers Podcast - Join Screenagers filmmaker Delaney Ruston MD for the latest Podcast

Learn More
Book page button

Available now - Parenting in the Screen Age, from Screenagers filmmaker Delaney Ruston MD

Learn More
Host a Screening Button

Community Screenings - Learn more about hosting your own Screenagers community screening event!

Learn More
Host a Screening Button

Community Screenings - Learn more about hosting your own Screenagers community screening event!

Learn More
Find A screening Button

Find a Screening - Find a screening of our movies in your local community

Learn More
Screenagers Podcast

Screenagers Podcast - Join Screenagers filmmaker Delaney Ruston MD for the latest Podcast

Learn More
Book page button

Available now - Parenting in the Screen Age, from Screenagers filmmaker Delaney Ruston MD

Learn More
Host a Screening Button

Community Screenings - Learn more about hosting your own Screenagers community screening event!

Learn More
Book page button

Available now - Parenting in the Screen Age, from Screenagers filmmaker Delaney Ruston MD

Order Here
Find A screening Button

Find a Screening - Find a screening of our movies in your local community

Learn More
Screenagers Podcast

Screenagers Podcast - Join Screenagers filmmaker Delaney Ruston MD for the latest Podcast

Learn More
Book page button

Available now - Parenting in the Screen Age, from Screenagers filmmaker Delaney Ruston MD

Learn More
Host a Screening Button

Community Screenings - Learn more about hosting your own Screenagers community screening event!

Learn More
Parenting In The Screen Age Book Cover

Free Book Preview - Download a free preview of "Parenting In The Screen Age" by Delaney Ruston, MD

Learn More
Host a Screening Button

Community Screenings - Learn more about hosting your own Screenagers community screening event!

Learn More
Find A screening Button

Find a Screening - Find a screening of our movies in your local community

Learn More
Screenagers Podcast

Screenagers Podcast - Join Screenagers filmmaker Delaney Ruston MD for the latest Podcast

Learn More
Book page button

Available now - Parenting in the Screen Age, from Screenagers filmmaker Delaney Ruston MD

Learn More
Host a Screening Button

Community Screenings - Learn more about hosting your own Screenagers community screening event!

Learn More
Parenting In The Screen Age Book Cover

Free Book Preview - Download a free preview of "Parenting In The Screen Age" by Delaney Ruston, MD

Learn More
Social Media

Colleges are watching, what do your kids post?

Delaney Ruston, MD
June 13, 2017

TECH TALK TUESDAY #71: COLLEGES ARE WATCHING, WHAT DO YOUR KIDS POST?

Picture of a building

Last week, Harvard rescinded the acceptances of 10 incoming freshmen for posting racist, sexually offensive material in a Facebook messaging group titled “Harvard memes for horny bourgeois teens.” As intense as the consequence may seem, this is an important reminder that nothing on the web is private, even private chat groups.

A person is responsible for what they post, a lesson our kids and teens might not always appreciate. According to a 2015 survey by the Pew Research Center, 88% of teens surveyed believe that people share too much information about themselves on social media. I am definitely going to ask my teens what they feel is too much information.  Also, 75% of teens said they either “frequently” or “occasionally" see people “stirring up drama on social media.” That is a lot of posts and messages that are all about drama!

We know it is popular for teens to have a main Instagram account and then a separate one, that is thought to be private, for closer friends--called a Finsta account. This is a great time to talk about these alternative accounts. Are they really as private as one might think? For some, they create a supportive small group so I would start with the positive—why might a person want a Finstagram?

In talking with younger kids I learned a cool analogy from a teacher I met while doing screenings in Hong Kong. He tells his 1st-grade students to think of the web as the ocean and when you are in it, how important it is to wear your swimsuit.

The action taken by Harvard is a great way to remind your teens about what they choose to post on social media. The students involved probably had no idea their posts would be seen by anyone but themselves, they were in a private chat. But “private chat” is a misnomer. These kids are the cream of the crop, and they didn’t have the wisdom to keep inappropriate messages out of the conversation.  

For this week’s TTT, let's talk about posts and privacy. Below are some questions. These discussions work best when adults share their experiences and observations--not just asking youth about their experiences. We are all in this together.
** A little tip, I generally print out the TTT to bring to the dinner table since we do not use tech during dinner.

  • What are the pros and cons of more private groups within social media platforms, like private chats and Finstagram accounts?
  • Have you seen friends overshare or stir up drama?
  • What do you think is appropriate and inappropriate to post online?
  • What are your thoughts about Harvard’s decision?

We would love for you to share this TTT any way that works for you, whether that’s on social media or via a newsletter. If you want to send it out in your newsletter we just ask that you credit us and link to our website, and let us know at lisa@screenagersmovie.com.

HOST A SCREENING to help spark change.
FIND EVENT LISTINGS

Do you organize professional development in schools? We now have a 6-hour, 3-part training module. Request more information here Professional Development.

Stay in touch with the Screenagers community on Facebook, Twitter and leave comments below.

More Like This

Helping Youth Navigate War Videos On TikTok
March 8, 2022
Social Media

Helping Youth Navigate War Videos On TikTok

In today’s blog, I write about things we can do right now to help our kids and teens navigate the deluge of war content on social media. There are many fake TikTok videos about the war in Ukraine. Investigators found that some of these videos use sound taken from video games.

READ MORE >
What Is Facebook & Instagram Not Telling Us About “Likes”?
November 9, 2021
Social Media

What Is Facebook & Instagram Not Telling Us About “Likes”?

Today I’m writing about what the Wall Street Journal’s reporting on the Facebook Files tells us about what Facebook and Instagram know about “Likes” and what they are not telling us, and solutions on how we can help our youth with “Likes.”

READ MORE >
The Talk To Have About Instagram At Home Right Now
October 12, 2021
Social Media

The Talk To Have About Instagram At Home Right Now

In 2016 FB (and Instagram) asked me to come to their headquarters and show Screenagers to their adolescent division. I spoke about negative emotions that were happening to young people related to social media and my concerns about excessive use and addiction. Around that same time, Facebook was talking about developing a Facebook-type product for youth younger than 13. Fortunately, there was pushback from the public, and this never came to fruition. Our voices matter. We want to support our kids having a voice in this discussion. This week's Tech Talk Tuesday, gives you ideas about talking with your kids about the leaked papers that revealed that Facebook has been internally talking about how youth can have very negative emotions on social media but find it hard to pull away.

READ MORE >

parenting in the screen age

for more like this, DR. DELANEY RUSTON'S NEW BOOK, PARENTING IN THE SCREEN AGE, IS THE DEFINITIVE GUIDE FOR TODAY’S PARENTS. WITH INSIGHTS ON SCREEN TIME FROM RESEARCHERS, INPUT FROM KIDS & TEENS, THIS BOOK IS PACKED WITH SOLUTIONS FOR HOW TO START AND SUSTAIN PRODUCTIVE FAMILY TALKS ABOUT TECHNOLOGY AND IT’S IMPACT ON OUR MENTAL WELLBEING.  

ORDER HERE
Parenting in the Screen Age book cover