Do you have an older child that is curious about social media?
When you child reaches their tween years or even earlier, curiosity about social media begins. Being exposed to social media is inevitable as a child enters tween and teen years and teaching your child appropriate internet etiquette can be challenging. Where do you begin? I always found this area to be specifically challenging because certain concepts aren’t black and white. When writing a post or comment, it’s not the same as face to face communication. We don’t have nonverbal communication to observe with our communication partner in order to determine what the reaction of the person is going to be. What are good guidelines for children to follow when entering the world of social media?
I loved this book, The Technology Tail by Julia Cook because it can help guide a child into understanding the concept of posting on social media. Julia Cook gives simple and easy to follow guidelines and stresses the implications of a harmful post. She also discusses that once you post something inappropriate online, it’s not able to be erased.
What are the implications of posting a hurtful and mean post online? The author discusses the process of getting a professional job, maintaining friendships, and being trusted by others in the world of social media. Julia defines the concept of “keyboard courage“. This “means they post things online that would never say or do to a person face to face.” The book discusses appropriate posts like a picture of a pet or a fun day at the park and inappropriate posts (pictures or comments that are hurtful to others). Julia Cook explains unsafe concepts such as sharing personal information such as your address, vacation plans and password. Julia makes these concepts concrete by describing a “tail” that gets scratched, bruised and wounded each time you post an inappropriate post. The tail follows you around and doesn’t go away, which occurs when someone posts something that is harmful to others. She also emphasizes the acronym, “THINK” which stands for the following: Think before you post, Is it true? Is it helpful? Is it inspiring? Is it necessary? and Is it kind?
Technology Tail, A Digital Footprint Story should be a required book for every parent’s home library as well as school library. This is a children’s book that can be read several times to a child and reinforced as they get older and begin to navigate social media.
Included in the back of the book are Digital Safety Tips for parents that are easy to implement into our busy lives.
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