The Youth Dilemma
300,000 unmonitored social media
exchanges/day = 1 High School
NOTICE TO SCHOOLS:
When considering your SCHOOL and the appropriate Cyber Citizenship strategy that works for your administration please consider the following.
1. The Cyber network of communication among the teens in your school are not limited to their classmates.
2. Though all the diverse social media networks that make up a SCHOOL the social media reach extends far beyond the geographic area of SCHOOL.
3. The students SOCIAL MEDIA reach extends to other SCHOOLS in your district and beyond.
4. This open door allows your STUDENTS to instantly communication to STUDENTS far beyond your communication capabilities and reach.
5. The open door also allows STUDENTS from all other DISTRICTS to have social media reach INTO your SCHOOL.
6. This fact along assures that YOUR SCHOOL no longer has that same protection, culture assurance and community agreement.
7. In other words, outside influences are moving silently and invisibly though your SCHOOL via social media.
8. Like many other families who have experienced how social media and it’s powerful influence was used as the principal vehicle of communication for FLASH RAVE/RAPE parties that harmed people and destroyed property; we discovered that the student reach extended to 18 different high school, 3 colleges that we know of, and as far as 200 miles away. I’ve listed some of the schools below.
1. Berlin Center High School,
2. New Lebanon High School,
3. Tamarac High School,
4. Troy High School,
5. Cahoes High School,
6. Averil Park High School,
7. Taconic High School,
8. Pittsfield High School
9. Bishop Macginn High School,
10. Colonie High School,
11. Lansingburgh High School,
12. Columbia High School,
13. Shenendehowa High School,
14. Mechanicville High School
15. Ballston Spa High School.
16. Lansingburgh High School,
17. Columbia High School,
18. Christian Brother’s Academy,
19. SUNY Albany,
20. Utica College,
21. Hudson Valley Community College
Schools & Academies
Principal & Teacher Awareness
Cyber Training & Monitoring
§ School Assembly
§ Parent Meetings
§ Parent Cyber Bootcamp
§ Team Cyber Citizen
§ Cyber Citizenship Challenge
New Champions/Disciples Club
§ Pledge To Parent
§ Cyber Citizenship Events
§ Cyber Citizenship Camps
§ Peer To Peer
§ Cyber Citizenship Awards
§ Cyber Citizenship Contribution
(School District Specific)
Social media is a great form of communication and connectedness.
It provides a very simple, fast easy way for people to communicate and share their world; as well as share other people’s world.
It provides an avenue to express your feelings, voice and any other cool or important stuff going on. And the random stuff too.
It’s not boring. It provides instant feedback. It allows total open and free expression. No one is trying to control you or tell you what to do.
It’s broadcasting capabilities allow you to share what’s going on in your life with your friends.
It’s virtually free, although not really. Someone has to pay the bill.
It’s always available, all the time from virtually anywhere and everywhere, almost. I guess depending on your service and the cell towers in your area.
10 Things What They Don’t Really Tell You
1. Everything that you’ve ever posted (is that a word) leaves a digital trail even though you erased or deleted it. (Seriously.)
2. When you click AGREE when you signup to social media services (Youtube. Twitter. Facebook. Instagram. Etc) You give up your rights to everything you post. What I’m saying is, it goes from being your private information to public information.
3. You don’t own what you post. In other words it may look like its yours but it’s not. Facebook own the rights to all your information, Twitter…same thing. Instagram…same. (check up and see if I’m right)
4. Anyone can see it. Although it seems like only your friends can see it; as in those people you allow or friend, however, there’s plenty of software out there that can “hack” into your account in a nano-second, as in they can bypass your password protection.
5. Because the communication is so fast, one small mistake can go viral in a second. So basically one single “what was I thinking” moment can alter your future forever. If you don’t believe me, ask any college admission advisors, military recruiter, medical schools or business schools.
6. There are the “good guys” and there are the “bad guys” that already have access to any and all of your information & communication. 99% of the time this probably doesn’t mean anything. However that 1% can put you and those you love in harms way. (Ask around an see if I’m right, and it’s more than 1% but you would never believe me.)
7. The cyber communication with your friends can be addicting and there are plenty of people that become totally obsessed. Like they are way up and over the top.
8. The most dangerous killer that was turned loose with the cyber obsession is texting while driving. My guess is that it’s killing more people than drunk driving; while at that same time increasing the death rate of those who are texting when they are already drunk or semi-drunk; you know what I mean; impaired basically.
9. Even though you may think parents, teachers, or other adults don’t know that students are using their phone all the time at school, in the bathroom, around the corners, during class…we actually do know.
10. We also are leaning more and more about how much communication is actually going on; and we’re still wrapping our heads around the fact that it’s possible for an average high school of 1500 students to have over 300,000 social media exchanges per day; that are completely unmonitored by those that care the most for your safety and well being.
The high speed communication can be an accelerant. In other words its like hitting the gas pedal. You know the deal… that a single annoying moment can escalate to a dangerous situation extremely fast. I mean you get that people provoke, encourage and are “haters” basically, using social media.
The teen years are exciting and complicated. They are fun and hard. They are filled with emotional ups and downs. They are a time of asking important questions and experimenting.
Teen years are a time of increasing freedom and increasing restriction. You have to get up way too early in the morning. You make friends. You lose friends. People can be 2 face. The break ups are real. Your sexuality it real. The future is unknown. Everyone makes mistakes.
Peer pressure is real, I mean of course you want to fit in and go along with the crowd. Most of the time it’s no big deal but there are other times when you need to draw a line and head another direction. Hopefully we will be developing some tools, strategies and techniques to help you in those moments when you feel the pressure closing in on you. It happens to everyone by the way. I’m just saying… (And we need your help is sharing your ideas and techniques that work for you)
Sometimes you feel incredibly significant and other times you feel incredibly unimportant. Relationships can be a really good thing one minute and then…well you know what I mean. Everyone has a different body. Everyone comes from different backgrounds at home. Bullies are the worst. Cyber bullies can be invisiable.
Teen stress, confusion and fear are real. You don’t have to have all the answers. It’s a very important time of change and personal transformation. It’s really the beginning of you breaking free to your own independence and that can be scary. But between you and me, no one told me about all the adversity, challenges, emotions, feelings, self-doubt, pressure that I was going to experience. In other words, I’m not going to lie, in some way’s I really felt unprepared. Teenage years are tough.
I’ve seen each of our 8 children go through the wild rollercoaster ride of adolescence. You’re not alone is what I’m trying to say.
Here are 10 Things You Should Be Aware Of
(School District Specific)
(1) The wild swing of emotions and feelings are completely normal and actually very important. In other words this will become part of the power that will help you navigate the future ahead. And yes, you can achieve your dreams, if you are willing to make the sacrifices and do the work.
(2) All your social media exchanges can be seen. And even those times when you are just “venting” or just “kidding” can be taken the wrong way. Like way…wrong.
(3) Social media is like you opening a door. Sure it allows you to speak to and connect with so many really cool people and sure it can give you the feeling of being really popular – but that door you opened will allow some other not so cool people in your life.
(4) We should probably talk a little bit about cyber monitoring. I know it totally “feels” like everyone is invading your personal privacy but here’s the real deal…you actually opened the “one door” that invites people in.
(5) Also one more thing about the invading of your personal privacy… I mean you do have rights too right? Right! Actually, Wrong. As in you don’t have any rights to anything you posted online or shared thru social media…remember…like really remember…when you clicked AGREE, you gave away your rights. You no longer own the content. You don’t own your pictures. You don’t own your story. (It’s in all that small writing that no one reads.)
(6) The other stone-cold fact; it’s not your data or information anymore, although it’s very very connected to you and you have to be accountable for it…someone else owns it. (check and see if I’m right)
(7) In other words, you gave up your right to privacy. And yeah…actually, no one is infringing on your rights. Zip. Ziltch. No one. It’s all free public information and it’s there forever thanks to…YOU.
(8) So you know the deal on social media right? The hype can lead you down some bad paths. I mean just because a bunch of people say something is cool, a hang-out, a party, a get together, things can get out of control like never before. One more thing. People do lie sometimes or maybe don’t always tell you the whole truth.
(9) Sometimes your friends can get in a bad situation or maybe going through some tough times. You can be such a support and a friend by “being there for them.” Words can heal. Words can harm.
(10) The truth. Parents, teachers, adults cannot possibly keep up with you and social media. It’s too fast. There’s too much. And I’m not going to lie, you are learning faster than we are. We can’t help you the way we would like to. It’s not like you are “on your own” but it’s almost like that. Which means the only solution is YOU. In other words, only YOU can help each other. YOU can help solve this. And that’s what Cyber Citizenship is really about and the …Help One. Save One.
Informing is a key part of protecting teens and education is key. That’s the first step. In addition to providing new and best information resources there is some very important actionable items that require that parents, teachers, administrators become equipped and prepared to take action.
(1) The most important first step is getting the newest, best and most current information assessing the risks and potential outcomes of a school where 300,000 unmonitored social media exchanges could be happening…every day. And for argument sake let’s just say those numbers a hugely exaggerated (there not); but lets use the number 30,000; or even just 3000. I would feel very uncomfortable not knowing what’s really going on – underneath the school day.
(3) The social media influence. I don’t have any data regarding the social media escalating or assisting to facilitate dangerous situation; however I do know that police reports confirm that extremely dangerous situations could have been prevented by early detection if there were some available monitoring strategy in place that would protect the students and children.
(4) Become educated on the trending behavior changes. More teens are coming to school with weapons including firearms. The ability for emotional moments, depression, anger, retaliation going from a 2 to 10; is the fastest it’s ever been.
Because of the emotional battering of Cyber Bullying, in some peoples hands, the phone is a weapon.
(5) The debate continues on the influence of all the violent gaming experiences. The line can become blurred causing perception and reality to shift. In other words, teens can in a moment see their world as a battlefield in which they must fight, retaliate, and harm to save themselves. To them it’s no big deal to arm themselves in school or planning out a school shooting or killing.
(6) One of the solutions will be in the new emerging technologies of software and APPs that allow you to monitor the social media exchanges.
This will be an imperative for parents, schools, teachers in the coming years.
(7) Los Angeles County Sheriffs Department use social media monitoring to identify situations that could escalate out of control. They’ve had excellent success by monitoring key words, key destinations and key times of the day. For each RAVE PARTY they stop or prevent, it saves the city of Los Angeles, $1,000,000. They’re determined, because they’ve saved 1 life; (the average RAVE party in Los Angeles County results in at least 1 homicide.) We need to ramp up our own capabilities to monitor the social media conversation of our children.
(8) I see the solution of Protecting coming from many different sectors. I think parents definitely must be in this conversation and on a “Cyber Protection Team” that should be assembled at the school/teacher level to generate a GAME PLAN that best suits their school environment. (One parental monitoring APP is called MammaBear.com take a look and see what you think.)
(9) Teachers will be doing the same thing as well as the administration. I’m guessing at some point the DARE Officer will be part of this TEAM too. And of course the Athletic Directors and Coaches that have such an influence and voice in the lives of the students. By the way, as I’ve said before, there are good guys and bad guys already monitoring the social media communications of teens everyday; even while they are in school. The monitoring software we tested cost about $1000; (that’s available to anyone.) It has the capability of monitoring any on going communication anywhere in the United States; including every school, university, airport, household etc.
(10) I think one of the important conversation to have and solve is this fine line of privacy, monitoring and protection. It’s an easy call for me. I want everything monitored in the schools where my children and grandchildren are. I don’t need any evidence of probable cause. What I’m saying is, if there is harm lurking or some very distressed person planning to do something very dangerous, I want to know ahead of time. We have plenty evidence that the school environment and potential threats have changed dramatically. Dangerous folks react differently when they know someone is watching or monitoring. This provides one level of protection.
PS. Professional athlete’s are used to all eyes watching; and growing up in the military everything is monitored too. My view is pretty simple – monitoring is essential for protection, it keeps us safe. And you know the deal, we are all pretty much being monitored by someone especially with the growing national security threats and terrorism. To think we are not being monitored is a departure from reality in my view; head in the sand basically.
Cyber monitoring in the right hands protects. Like my grandmother use to say, “if you ain’t doin anything wrong why would you care?” Anyway this is an important question to solve at your school, administration, parent level.
It goes without saying, the social media capability and unlimited access with unlimited speed is expanding far beyond our capabilities to understand. It will continue to change our world everyday and the lives of our children and grandchildren.
We as adults will never be able to keep up or in someway corral and manage the growth. The only sustainable and scalable solution is empowerment and ownership of Cyber Citizenship.
The young people today have the ability and the solution. We must provide them with the information, education and protections for them to continue to craft the solution and impact the conversation with the Cyber Citizenship motto of Help One. Save One.
Here’s 10 reason why EMPOWEREMENT will be one of the most important proactive strategies create growth and commitment to Cyber Citizenship.
(1) Engagment. This can only be successful if the teens embrace it’s value and importance. When youth grab on to something and value it – it will be very successful. They are the most connected generation of all time.
(2) Empowerment turns over the power, vision and conversation to them. They’ve seen more, talked more and been exposed to more than any generation in the history of human existence. They can create the “coolness” and “why this is dope” – adults, teachers and mentors can warn and inform but they can rally the troops.
(3) Empowerment prepares them to brace and see the whole picture of the danger. Our job is to provide them with the information in a way that they can receive it, in the high speed digital world they live in.
(4) Empowerment solves the “swipe” dilemma. Meaning if something is not interesting, important, cool or relevant immediately, teens just “swipe” it away on their smart phones. It becomes a “what-ever.” It’s very difficult for them to ignore something important coming from their friends.
(5) Empowerment it expansive. It puts the Cyber Citizen commitment deep into every part of the teen community, it travels with them, it shows up at parties, sporting events, driving in the car, staying at friends house, communicating on social media, watching out for that moment when a classmate or friend is going through a tough time.
(6) With Empowered teens we then gain access to their massive creativity, ideas, new information that constantly generates the next new way to challenge, embrace, enroll the youth in the only moment that matters – right now, as in the moment where are the decisions are made.
(7) Empowering teens raises their voice and self importance. It activates and calls out their incredible gifts and solutions. Generating a newer, fresher identity; champion the fundamental mantra of Help One. Save One – YOU MATTER.
(8) Empowering stabilizes and reassures. During the turbulent years of adolescence when young minds and bodies are going through so many hormonal & chemical changes; Cyber Citizenship and Cyber Clubs, can offer another place of support, like minded peers, who do care and who do want to make a difference.
(9) Cyber Citizenship provides a platform for on going discussions and debates regarding Cyber safty and responsibility. In other words, it becomes a “safe place” to talk about “stuff” without being judges or put down by adults. It gives them a place for them to become “equal” and “relevant.”
(10) Cyber Citizenship and Empowerment crosses over to the new social media frontiers – as in the new social media communication platform that are not public, or those emerging social media that provide a instant shorts 3 second message, aka snap-chat, that does not leave a long-digital-tail. (although all the information can still be recovered, even all the stuff that is deleted). The new products that will hit the market will be those PRIVATE social media networks where the information is more secure and has offers the most privacy and secrecy. Those are emerging right now. Cyber Citizenship is the only way protection and standards of integrity can reach into this private community.