MS Wingmen and Thomas Grimes of NY Finest Speakers level set parents and students about social media
It’s an anomaly these days not to see our children staring into a screen. These little devices provide our children big access to the social media world that often we, as parents and caregivers, can not control.
If we want children, especially tweens and teens, to adopt better habits and healthier choices online, and in-real life, we have to change how we talk about the social world, both online and in-real-life. This notion is what compelled the Middle School’s Wingmen team (a student-teacher group dedicated to promoting inclusion and positive community) to promote responsible social media use.
The Wingmen created a survey for fellow middle school students about their social media use. Their findings revealed several vulnerabilities in student use of social media, including:
- 37% of students sometimes or always feel isolated because of social media.
- 53% of students will only play online games with friends but 37% will play with anyone.
- 71% of students sometimes or always use the same password for social media sites.
- 16% of students have a YouTube channel with subscribers.
Survey results where then shared by the Wingmen to both students and parents/caregivers as a kick off to tailored social media responsibility presentations by retired NYPD detective Thomas Grimes.
The presentations focused on developing awareness and encouraging open communication, because children who perceive their parents and caregivers as are unaware are less likely to seek their guidance and support in times of need.
“You must be vigilant with your children’s computer activity. Before you go to sleep at night you lock your doors and make sure your kids are safe. Never forget that the internet can provide an unlocked back door into your home, or into our child’s room,” said Grimes.
Grimes was a 20-year veteran of the NYPD and now owns “NY Finest Speakers,” a company which was formed in 2007 and is made up of former detectives and a former secret service agent. Those officials are “dedicated to educating and protecting today’s young people and their parents from threats posed by Internet usage and drug involvement.”
For guidance and advice for helping children with social media and online activity, here are a few resources:
Common Sense Media®: Advice for Parents
Psychology Today: Parent’s Guide to Social Media Use for Kids
Parenting.com: 13 Tips for Monitoring Kids’ Social Media
To view the full Wingmen survey findings see the attached images