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Social Media for Youth Leaders, May 2014, for @c_of_e


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A new course for youth leaders who want to learn about how social media can be used positively.

As a youth leader, you may feel the responsibility for helping keep the children that you work with stay safe online, but also want to know how they - and you - can use it to its full advantage. In this day course, developed from Raising Children in a Digital Age (Lion Hudson, 2014), internet scare stories and distorted statistics are put into context, and clear and sensible guidelines are offered. You’ll have the opportunity to discuss your hopes, fears and experiences with others in a similar situation, and study examples of how others have used social media successfully with youth. We’ll discuss understanding privacy, permanency, identity, values and relationships in a digital age (including cyber-bullying)

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Social Media for Youth Leaders, May 2014, for @c_of_e

  1. 1. Social Media Training for Youth Leaders Dr Bex Lewis, Digital Fingerprint URL: 13 May 2014 for: Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0
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  3. 3. Published by Lion Hudson February 2014
  4. 4. Let’s “tweet” each other…
  5. 5. Feel the Fear….
  6. 6. The End is Nigh!
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  9. 9. Digital Culture: It Matters!
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  11. 11. The Toolbox
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  16. 16. /products/all-products/Team- Building-Activities-for-the- Digital-Age
  17. 17. Are they digital natives?
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  21. 21. The CHILDWISE “Digital Lives” Report asked children to go back in time and explain to Victorian children what the internet was. Many of the oldest tried to explain how the internet works, but others, and especially the younger children, focused on what the internet enables them to do – a place to communicate, to find things out, to play games, to create and have fun. Several referred explicitly to the all- encompassing nature of what is on offer to them via the internet. (My italics.) Raising Children in a Digital Age, p64
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  23. 23. Communicate Communicate Communicate
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  25. 25. Agree/Disagree statements • On social networking sites such as Facebook, Bebo etc, it’s okay to put your address and telephone number on your profile page. • There is no harm in putting the name of the school you attend on your social networking profile page. • It’s easy to forget the Internet is a public space. • Once photos have been posted on the Internet they can’t be removed. • If you have been chatting to someone who knows someone who knows someone who knows someone you know, does this make them your friend? Should you be chatting to them online? • People with bad intensions use the Internet to make friends with children/young people. • If you were on the street chatting to someone you liked the look of but didn’t know, would you give them your mobile number? • When using social media sites you would only write things on your wall or post pictures that you would be happy for your parents to see. • It’s illegal to send indecent pictures of yourself or anyone else. • When chatting to people on Internet or through games consoles, you can tell if they are telling the truth.
  26. 26. To monitor or not to monitor?
  27. 27. Is privacy dead?
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  29. 29. Permanency • Facebook has appeared in the press several times as its privacy settings are by default quite open, and can be hard to find and change. Many people believe young people don’t care about privacy, but research has demonstrated that they do and are largely confident about managing their privacy settings, with less than 1 per cent describing the process on Facebook as “very difficult”. Some also feel that online spaces offer more safety, privacy, and control than offline ones (especially if they share a room), with one girl (fourteen to fifteen) saying, “The real world’s not that safe, is it?” • Raising Children in a Digital Age, p89
  30. 30. • EXERCISE: Try a Google search of your child’s name, and its variations (consider doing this with your child). Check variations of your name; for example, I would look for “Rebecca Lewis” as well as “Bex Lewis”. • Encourage your child to think about what their profile would look like if an alien landed and just had their social media to read. • List the types of information they are sharing, the issues associated with sharing, and the appropriate actions that should be taken to avoid problems arising. Raising Children in a Digital Age, p98
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  34. 34. EXERCISE: Bearing in mind that we are looking for values that work offline as well as online, have a discussion and get your child to draw up a list of the top ten values that they want to demonstrate online (e.g. honesty, friendliness, etc.). If they are keen, consider a list of behaviour to avoid as well, and the consequences of engaging in those negative practices. Raising Children in a Digital Age, p41
  35. 35. Just because you can … doesn’t mean you should!
  36. 36. H.A.L.T. If you are Hungry, Angry, Lonely or Tired, step away from the keyboard/keypad and deal with that issue first.
  37. 37. Relationships…
  38. 38. One noticeable difference in the digital era, especially as the social platforms have stabilized, is that it’s difficult to leave anyone behind, which can be delicate to negotiate: Generally, it is socially unacceptable to delete a Friend one knows. When this is done, it is primarily after a fight or breakup. In these situations, the act of deletion is spiteful and intentionally designed to hurt the other person. Raising Children in a Digital Age, p.106
  39. 39. The Bullied The Bully The Bystander
  40. 40. The Bullied
  41. 41. Signs specific to cyber-bullying? •Long hours on the computer •Secretive Internet use •Screen minimization •Refusing to log on or answer phone •Extreme possessiveness of phone, to which constant nervous looks are given.
  42. 42. 5.5  71
  43. 43. Emotionally: • No shame: not their fault • Don’t threaten their online access • Spend extra time together: time for communication • Nurture self-confidence
  44. 44. Practically: • Don’t respond • Keep copies of messages as ‘proof’ • Understand how to ‘block’ accounts • Talk to child re contacting school • Think hard before talking to parents of bully • Request webhost to remove • Get phone number blocked
  45. 45. The Bully
  46. 46. Disinhibition The bully doesn’t see the distress that they cause, feels safe from capture, and protected by the technology, able to say things that they would never say offline.
  47. 47. ITV, February 2005 •One in five think sending a message in cyberspace is less damaging than face to face insults •Half the teenagers polled believe it is ok to say things online that you would not in person •A third of youths say they troll because their friends do so too.
  48. 48. Zero- Tolerance?
  49. 49. Any solutions? • Remove their Internet and mobile privileges (for a fixed period) • Get them to write an essay on the dangers of cyberbullying • Assign him/her a book to read about cyberbullying • Assign him/her to community service or other time- consuming activity. • Encourage them to apologise and take responsibility
  50. 50. The Bystander(s)
  51. 51. The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing Quote commonly (and probably erroneously) attributed to Edmund Burke
  52. 52. Digital Allies
  53. 53. Matthew 25:40 Whatever you did for one of my brothers or sisters, no matter how unimportant they seemed, you did for me.
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  55. 55. Some useful sites for those needing help • (preventing young suicide) • (suicide prevention for LGBTQ youth) • (confidential helpline for those under 19) • (advice about cyberbullying, and opportunities to report your own situation, or someone else’s) • (US based site for those struggling with depression, addiction, self-injury, and suicidal thoughts) • (MTV site for those suffering digital abuse) • (for those suffering LGBT abuse)
  56. 56. Ferguson, a professor from Texas A&M who researches technologies’ effects on human behaviour: “Youth today are the least aggressive, most civically involved, and mentally well in several generations .” ‘Imagining the Internet: Millennials will benefit and suffer due to their hyperconnected lives’, Pew Research Center,, 29/02/12
  57. 57. Stranger Danger
  58. 58. • EXERCISE: Take time to talk to your child about hopes and fears for online friendships. Establish ground rules for meeting up with a new “friend”, including meeting in a public place, being with friends, having a back-up plan, and agreeing not to be left alone with that person. • Raising Children in a Digital Age, p125
  59. 59. Increasingly Mobile
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  61. 61. • No surprise, then, that Facebook is no longer a place for uninhibited status updates about pub antics, but an obligatory communication tool that younger people maintain because everyone else does. • All the fun stuff is happening elsewhere. On their mobiles.
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  63. 63. LUNCH
  64. 64. Sex Talk (Porn, Pedophilia and Sexting)
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  66. 66. The media have focused heavily on the “dangers of porn” online for children, to the extent that many parents feel they are powerless to stop it. Professor Livingstone adds that debate in this area can be difficult, as the media tend to mix up a range of complex issues into one big scare story. The EU Kids Online survey demonstrated that only 6,000 of the 25,000 children surveyed had encountered even a single sexual image online; still a high number but not every child, in contrast to the media impression. Raising Children in a Digital Age, p144
  67. 67. Porn We need to have more to say than ‘porn is bad’ • ‘Rite of Passage’? = No • ‘Being a Man’? = No • Girls see as harmless? = ? • Education? = Best example? • In churches, if waiting til marriage = not ‘doing’!
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  69. 69. • EXERCISE: Identify stories about grooming from the press, and get children to discuss how they might have behaved differently, and to think about possible conclusions “if” different choices had been made. • Raising Children in a Digital Age, p152
  70. 70. Keeping within the Law
  71. 71. Physical Setup Brain Changes Addiction Multitasking Conversational Ability Couch Potatoes
  72. 72. The core signs of addiction • The activity becomes the most important thing in a person’s life. • Moods change in accordance with the activity. • Continually higher doses of an activity are required to achieve the original sensations. • Withdrawal symptoms such as anxiety and depression are experienced when the activity is stopped. • Increasing conflict occurs with those in the closest social circle. • There is a tendency to return to the activity after periods of control (relapse). • The “sunk cost” fallacy is experienced: not wanting to abandon something after so much time has been sunk into it. Raising Children in a Digital Age, p168
  73. 73. Screen time and family dynamics
  74. 74. Gaming
  75. 75. Does the digital age offer life opportunities?
  76. 76. Can social media be positive? • Wide range of information • Increased connectivity and collaboration • Educational benefits • Global nature of online • New creative opportunities • Learning criticality • Increased accessibility for those with disabilities
  77. 77. • EXERCISE: Go to Wikipedia and search for something that you know a fair bit about. What information do you support, and what would you challenge? • Raising Children in a Digital Age, p196
  78. 78. Do it for them Do it with them Watch while they do it Let them do it for themselves.
  79. 79. (Grandparents, teachers) Youth leaders
  80. 80. Looking to the future
  81. 81. • EXERCISE: Have some fun with your child, undertaking some “no-limits futurology”. What do they think life will look like in x number of years? Think about creating a “souvenir” book to bring back out at that time in the future. • Raising Children in a Digital Age, p213
  82. 82. As a youth leader, it is a very convenient way of messaging and informing members of our youth group, and inviting them to events and [connecting with] each other when we're not together… Sadly for your child to be the only one in a group NOT to have access to Facebook can itself be a matter for isolation - they may not get invitations to youth events for example, and ridicule and bullying for being the 'odd one out'. (Parent, 16-19)
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  85. 85. Social Media Policies?
  86. 86. • The principles applied to this are: • Be credible. Be accurate, fair, thorough and transparent. • Be consistent. Encourage constructive criticism and deliberation. • Be cordial, honest and professional at all times. Be responsive. When you gain insight, share it where appropriate. • Be integrated. Wherever possible, align online participation with other communications. • Be a good representative of the Methodist Church. Remember that you are an ambassador for Christ, the Church and your part of it. Disclose your position as a member or officer of the Church, making it clear when speaking personally. • LetGalatians 5:22-26 guide your behaviour. • Be respectful: respect confidentiality. Respect the views of others even where you disagree. Methodist Church Guidelines
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  93. 93. Permissions/Consent • Parent’s permission before contact • Consent for use of photographs • Catchall statement for registration forms – assumes opt-in unless opt-out.
  94. 94. Language • Use clear, unambiguous language, avoiding abbreviations that can be mis-interpreted. • Take care with sign-offs
  95. 95. Accountability • Leaders/Young People develop agreed ‘Internet Guidelines’ • Line manager // access to social media accounts • Second leader ‘in the room’ • Save messages/disclosures for use later if required.
  96. 96. Confidentiality • Be prepared for ‘deeper’ disclosures • Be clear on how much advice/source you can give. • Add a disclaimer on how you might need to share their information.
  97. 97. Boundaries • Work-specific device? • Don’t keep images of young people on personal devices • Define curfews
  98. 98. In Your Context…
  99. 99. @drbexl @digitalfprint @bigbible Image credits: Screenshots, The Worship Cloud, Stockfresh, RGBStock, iStockphoto