In class we have talked a lot about cyber bullying and how social media is taking control of others lives. In my own personal experience I remember one situation where friends and I were hanging out, and one of our friends was missing. One a not great photo of her, we made nasty comments, mostly out pure fun, thinking she would not be hurt. She was not hurt…until some of the other other people in our class started commenting stuff that was very nasty, and not in fun. It took all of two days to go from us goofing around, to her being the joke of the school for almost two weeks, and being inconsolable. This might be a small example, but what we dealt with at age thirteen is now being dealt with at age 8 or 9.
In our ECMP class people constantly say that Social Media does not really work for those under 13 because they are not of age to have it. Every person I know has a Facebook account, regardless of age. I have a lot of friends with new kids, and the first thing they did was create their newborn baby a Facebook account. When I asked them why, every single one of them responded with, its easier to track the kid’s growth. We grew up with our parents taking photos that needed to be developed, my parents have books and boxes filled with photos. My friends take photos, videos, posts about their kids, and they tag their kids in it. Their kids now have access to everything that happens as they grow up.
This is kinda of a great plan, but they are also exposing their kids to social media at a young age, in fact they have a digital presence before they are ever born. At what age do they learn about the safety, about predators, about all the negatives of social media and the internet.
Monica Lewinsky learnt this at the age of 22, Walter Palmer at age 55, and Amanda Todd at age 12. Each person, and many more have experienced the negatives of social media, but these are lessons that they learnt one their own. No one actually taught them these lessons. New generations should be taught these lessons. This is both the responsibility of the parents and the teachers.
We cannot expect people to learn about internet safety if we do not teach internet safety. It is kind of like how we cannot expect people to learn math if we don’t teach math.