The recent generation of young teens have more access to technology, the Internet, and social media websites; furthermore, this is becoming evident through how kids are spending their free time and what they are posting. Today I had orientation as a returning staff member at a summer camp and a lot of what was talked about related back to social media, how we present our selves online vs. offline, how campers use the technology during camp, etc.
We have limited control with what gets posted online, who is online, who sees it, how others perceive what they see online, and furthermore how it effects individuals.
The thing that scared me the most was said by a co-worker who is a teacher because he talked about how his students will take something he has said in class and two seconds later it is on Twitter for everyone to see. Another co-worker said her students have done the same thing and then have tried to tag her in it and become friends online. It is scary to think that my future students or campers could attempt at tagging me in something on Facebook or Twitter that could later hurt my career or employment.
Another situation spoken about was how social networking sparks a larger flame for bullying because now peers are continuing the face-to-face bullying away from school or camp by using the Internet. A student/ camper will take an embarrassing video of the victim and post it on YouTube, which now makes the victim relive the horrifying event over and include others who weren’t even present.
Students are posting quotes from their teachers and the campers are posting embarrassing videos are all abusing the Internet in negative ways. Ways that didn’t happen before the uncontrollable blaze of the Internet. The uses are unlimited and always changing. It’s hard to think what students/ campers will be doing 5- 10 years from now.
More and more it seems like teachers, counselors, and parents are having trouble controlling the usage of social networking. It’s almost become too hard control students and now my camp is having a no cell phone policy and an Internet conduct policy in order to protect both campers and counselors and prevent future problems.
These kinds of policies were not around in schools and camps in years past. It’s scary that adults are finding it hard to control the usage and behavior that is happening on the Internet.