Social Media Sharing: A Community Guide

Steward technology experts weigh in on the best ways to approach, monitor children’s social media usage.

How has social media changed the way we communicate with each other and specifically impacted children?

Mrs. Ricketts: In his book The Writing on the Wall: The First 2,000 Years, author Tom Standage reminds us that people have always found ways to share their ideas and dreams, their complaints, and their accusations. It is only since the dawn of social media that these messages can spread so quickly and so widely. We can now see what just about everyone is thinking: about the world, about their friends and family, about themselves.

Mrs. Mayfield: We all know there is an unprecedented level of speed to social media. Something happens in this great wide world and—within minutes or even seconds—you are in the loop. True, this rapidity can often be beneficial to our kids, but there is usually a flip-side to any coin. Our children are exposed to texts, selfies, Facebook posts, Instagram posts, and other media and they must quickly determine how to respond. A 2015 study by Common Sense Media surveyed teenagers and found 80 percent of teens checked their phones hourly and 72 percent said they felt the need to immediately respond to texts and other social networking. When we combine this feeling of rushed pressure with data that shows the adolescent brain is vulnerable to environmental stress and self-control, we realize how overwhelming social media can often become to our children.

Click on each question below to view responses from our technology experts:





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