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Do we deny social media education?


Over a dinner discussion with some friends, I met a couple over who were both strongly against Facebook and other social networks. I haven't come across such a strong sentiment in a while.

January 14, 2013 11:28 by

Social Media education is important as Social Networks evolve.  With privacy settings relaxing more and more, there is a growing trend of sharing our day-to-day activities online, and as tighter integration of Social Networks into elements around us, Social Media education continues to grow in importance.

Over a dinner discussion with some friends, I met a couple over who were both strongly against Facebook and other social networks.  I haven’t come across such a strong sentiment in a while.  My first thought was: it will be difficult for you to guide your young kids on use of social networks.  There are many elements where we rely on the educational system to teach our kids; however, not in Social Media education. Schools are putting an effort to stay on top of latest Internet trends and continuously evolving classes to catch up. However, Internet technologies evolve at a very fast pace that schools need assistance from home in terms of education.

Another parental argument over dinner was:  “we can forbid them to participate in “Facebook” (the definition of social networking) like we forbid them to participate in other things”.  Social Networks will most likely evolve in the direction of Google+ where they become built-in across online services and as such won’t be a stand-alone entity to deny the use of. Add to that the concept of Internet of Things where devices and your physical environment becomes Internet aware, how do you deny the use of those elements?

Some of the training we give at Think Media Labs is for families with focus on understanding how Social Networks work, how information spreads, elements to focus on and discuss with kids, how to interact with them as parents online while minimizing risk of being blocked or black listed by your child. The discussions we have with parents are filled with concern and willingness to do whatever it takes to learn social networks they are unfamiliar with to better communicate and educate their young children.

Social Media education is important to embrace as social networks evolve and as young generations come into age.  Although I may be able to assist other parents with Social Media Education, I can really use help in child education in other non-digital aspects:  how to interest Lea and Jad in becoming avid readers, how to deal with personal feelings of discomfort when my 2 year old daughter likes to play with older boys on bikes when in the park. And how to “free your mind” as a parent of the weight of the day when communicating with your kids in the evening after a long day at work. If only there was an on/off setting I can toggle for that in my parental profile setting.

Written by Ayman Itani, Founder and CEO of ThinkMediaLabs.

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  1. Sheri Watkins on January 14, 2013 9:59 pm

    This is a great post! This topic is not addressed enough. Most people think of safety when it comes to kids and social media, and that is important. But there is more to it than that. To answer your question, I say no, don’t deny social media education. I’m an advocate for helping tech savvy kids who may not be socially savvy or emotionally mature learn how to be good digital citizens! That’s why @haythereSM developed Saving Face for Parents.
    Thank you for addressing such an important topic!
    Sheri Watkins

  2. Ayman Itani on January 15, 2013 12:46 am

    Thank you Sheri for your feedback !
    I just went through the “Saving Face for Parents” information. Good choice of a title ;)
    I just followed you and @haythereSM to stay in touch.

    I am curious, what path lead you to coming across the article as soon as it came out ?


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