Social Media Education Blog

Internet Addiction Disorder

Internet Addiction Disorder

What do you know about Internet Addiction Disorder or, IAD? Just take a look around and you will notice that we are all glued to one device or another. Internet Addiction has varying degrees. It is easy to spend countless minutes adding up to hours on a device, website, or app. How do you know when cross the line from too much Internet to Internet Addiction Disorder?

We all jokingly say that we know someone who has become “addicted” to a new game, app, or social platform.  Eventually, the newness wears off and they move on to something else. Many women are accused of being Pinterest addicts. Teens are consumed with Instagram. It wasn’t so long ago that the words “Blackberry addict” were heard on a regular basis. Now, a whole new generation would question what a Blackberry device was!

Internet Addiction is very different. It can take over a person’s daily life. They end up spending between 40-80 hours a week in front of a screen.  They prefer “virtual friends” to real life relationships. They spend their time engaged in excessive social networking, gaming, blogging, or shopping online. Just like drug or alcohol addiction, individuals must receive treatment or become aware of their behavior to overcome the obsession.

10 Warning Signs Of Internet Addiction

  1. Things you use to enjoy (reading, exercise, movies, etc.) you no longer consider due to your consumption of technology.
  2. You risk having more friends online than actual real friends.
  3. You forgo social events to spend more time online.
  4. You take your phone to bed with you so you can check messages during the night.
  5. You become panicked if you misplace your device or if you go without using your device for several hours.
  6. You cannot stop checking your device. You check messages during meetings, face time, appointments, and at meals.
  7. You have experienced fatigue, eyestrain, backaches, finger/wrist strain from using a device.
  8. Your schoolwork or job suffers because of your technology use.
  9. You become withdrawn and prefer to spend hours on the computer.
  10. Exhibit signs of not taking care of your personal appearance due to spending time on the computer instead.

If you know someone who has some of the warning signs you should not treat it as a passing fad. It could be a much more serious problem like Internet Addiction Disorder. Is this a conversation you should have with your family or co-workers?




Cyber Stalking: The Latest Concern For Parents

Cyber stalking is probably not on your list of latest parenting concerns. It should be. Just like cyber bullying, it occurs online and is hidden from view by a computer screen or digital device. It is very easy for the aggressor to go undetected because their actions can take place 24/7 and remain hidden from public view. Online harassment is serious and parents need to become informed on the dangers of cyber stalking.

Cyber stalking can occur in many of the places and ways your children and teens communicate online. Texting, emails, chat rooms, and cell phones are just a few sources. Stalkers can also use hidden cameras, listening devices, and send electronic viruses. Stalkers are experts at stealing personal information your children are sharing online. This is another reason to stay informed on what your children are sharing online.

Social School 101 has written on many occasions about over sharing personal information online. Many times children, without realizing it, share personal pictures or facts about themselves which can be valuable to someone who is trying to gain personal information. If your teen writes a personal blog and reveals daily activities, sends a friend their phone number, publishes photos that identify their current location, sends explicit images thinking they are private, or shares their password to their social sites, it can have terrible consequences. Information given away without thinking about the dangers is one of the many ways your teens can become victims of cyber stalking.

This infographic , created by uknowkids, shows how two  very tech savvy families innocently gave away personal information. The purpose is not to expose the families but to share the lessons of how easily and innocently it can occur. The message is clear. Do not wait to have a conversation about cyber stalking with your children.

Living with Cloud Computing

     Living with cloud computing doesn’t have to be a mysterious. Cloud computing allows you to store all your online data in one easy to access location. However, most digital users are not really certain what cloud computing is. They just know that when they want to access the Internet, they want it to work and they want it to be secure.

True or False: Cloud Computing

True or False: 95% of people  are living with cloud computing and do not know it? It may surprise you to learn that it is true. A recent study found that most people have heard of cloud computing but have no idea what it is.

To emphasize this point, a company named Citrix conducted a survey and asked people if cloud computing involved actual clouds in the sky as a part of its function. 1 out of 2 people believed actual clouds were used for this service. So, you will not find yourself on the wrong side of this question, please know that weather clouds have nothing to do with this service. We recently did a series on cloud computing. Our first article highlighted all the basics

Cloud computing allows you to use all your device,computers, smartphone, and digital tablet, and share the your information on each device.If you are wondering what you should keep in the cloud, you can find information here: It allows you the freedom to access your information in different locations. You are no longer confined to the computer on your desk to get to your information. It happens seamlessly. This infographic illustrates how it works.

Cloud Computing


10 Things Parents Should Know About Online Safety

Online Safety 

An online safety list for parents

      Do you know the ten things you should never share online? Social School 101 has prepared an online safety list for parents to use as an important reference to protect their children.  Every parent worries about online safety and whether or not their children reveal far more online than they should. Keeping children safe on the Internet requires constant supervision and reminders about what they should and should not share online.

     Many times children may give away personal information unwillingly. There are many ways this can happen.  Children and teens can become victims by people impersonating a friend, an online marketer, talking to strangers in chat rooms, or not realizing how many people will see and share their comments.  Social media and digital tools are great for sharing but there are some things that should never, ever be mentioned online.

     Are your children revealing too much online?  Do they really know and remember to use online safety precautions daily? Here is a list to keep on hand of useful reminders. Every six to eight weeks review these with your children because we all need to be vigilant about our information online.

 10 Things That Should Never Be Shared Online

  1. Date of birth- Revealing your date of birth can lead to identity theft.
  2. Where you live- Your location can be revealed in photos by geo-tagging or revealing information inside the photo like a street sign.
  3. Passwords- This is an area of concern if you have pre-teens or teenagers. Many times close friends share passwords or boyfriend and girlfriend share their passwords. If the relationship ends, this leaves their social platforms open for damaging posts or emails.
  4. Recent Purchases- Innocently sharing the arrival of a new computer or big screen television then including photos could alert strangers about where they can find  tempting items they would like to acquire.
  5. Dates of big events- Planning a vacation to Hawaii with your relatives or a destination wedding? Again, you are revealing information to strangers about when you will be home and when you are leaving town.
  6. Photos- Many times information captured in a  photo can identify your location. Things like the name of a school on clothing, license plates, and street signs all give away important details.
  7. Relationships-Revealing the details of a scorned relationship online, the nasty comments about a break up, or escalating a fight over a friendship breakup online is exposing and hurtful. It is easy for teens to be pulled into a flame war.
  8. Revealing names- People are still doing it even though they know they shouldn’t. Revealing the names of people or children in photos is risky.
  9. Home alone- Innocently, emailing a friend to say, “ my parents just went to the movies and I am so bored at home” could be a disaster if the message gets forwarded to hundreds of people at school. Surprise, there is an instant party at your house.
  10.  Inappropriate comments- Emails and the online comments your children make are just like writing in a permanent marker. They are permanent reminder and cannot be erased.

     This is a list about online safety  precautions you will hopefully refer to again and again. Remember to be sociable and share this with other parents. Keeping our children safe online begins with parents taking the steps to become Digital Parents.

Give The Gift Of Digital Literacy- Social Media Dictionary!

Social Media Dictionary reduced700x1054Have you considered giving the gift of digital literacy this season? Now more than ever before everyone needs to be digitally fluent and comfortable using the Internet and social media. If you have someone on your list that needs to improve their skills, won’t you consider the gift of digital literacy and give the Social Media Dictionary A Modern Guide To Social Media, Texting, and Digital Communication?

More than 140 million shoppers launched their holiday shopping season just as the Thanksgiving meal was concluded. Quickly one holiday ended as consumers turned their attention to the mall in hopes of shopping bargains and major discounts for the Christmas giving season. Of all the gifts you purchase this holiday season which will be the one that gets used again and again? Give the gift of digital literacy this year with the Social Media Dictionary A Modern Guide To Social Media, Texting, and Digital Communication.

 Give The Gift Of Digital Literacy

Digital literacy provides the foundational skills for communicating online. The Social Media Dictionary increases opportunities for technology learning, expands knowledge of digital communication, and creates digital citizens for a more productive society. Here are a few digital literacy facts. * A person’s ability to perform tasks effectively in a digital environment is increasingly required for many opportunities in the workforce. 62% of working Americans use the Internet as part of their daily jobs. * 80% of Fortune 500 companies only accept online applications. Online skills are necessary for seeking and applying for jobs today. * 79% of students are required to submit or access their lessons online. * Today four of the seven fastest growing jobs directly require technology skills.

6 Benefits Of The Social Media Dictionary

* The ability to understand and use technology in multiple formats: Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, texting, and new terminology is greatly enhanced by the Social Media Dictionary * It is a complete comprehensive guide to enable users to communicate in the Digital Age. * It contains the latest trending social media terms. * It provides quick access to a comprehensive lists of texting acronyms. * It is a tool that will be used to prevent social blunders online and increase digital confidence. * The Social Media Dictionary will boost technical competence for increased opportunities. Give the gift of digital literacy this holiday season. It is a gift for all ages. It is a gift that will be appreciated and used again and again!  

5 Reasons Teens Love Tumblr


5 Reasons Teens Love Tumblr


Why Teens And Tumblr Go Together

     Have you ever wondered why teens and Tumblr seem to go together? We would like to highlight the 5 reasons teens love Tumblr. If you are not aware, teens embrace the microblogging platform. In fact, Tumblr is more popular than ever. Tumblr is nine years old.  Founded in April of 2007, Tumblr si growing strong.  Every year there are an impressive 500 million monthly viewers on over 320 million blogs. They continue to grow and remain very popular despite the rise of other social platforms. We would like to highlight why teens love Tumblr and find it irresistible.

 Top 5 Reasons Teens Love Tumblr

  1. Tumblr is easy to use. It requires very little to register with Tumblr.  Just add an email address, agree to their terms, and upload a profile shot.  Then you can select a name for your blog, and choose a theme. Compared to hiring a web developer, developing a site, and spending thousands of dollars, Tumblr made this a simple solution to be up and blogging in no time. Tumblr doesn’t even charge for this. Their service is free.
  2. Tumblr is inclusive.  Everyone wants to be a part of a group and Tumblr welcomes their fans. They instantly connect to their users by suggesting Tumblr blogs to follow.  This initiates immediate participation.  You can subscribe to anyone’s blog and they can reciprocate. Your teen becomes a part of a giant sharing community.
  3. Tumblr is a showcase. Teens are allowed the freedom to showcase their interests, opinions, photos, and artwork.  They quickly discover they are part of a community of friends who share, re-blog, like, and follow one another.  They have a personal space to share their interests and get feedback on what other people like.
  4. Tumblr offers simplicity. You do not need to read a manual, follow an instruction book, or watch a video to get started. Tumblr has a simplified way to share. Simply click on the corresponding icon and you are able to add text, quote, link, chat, submit an audio or video. There are many ways to communicate which adds variety and keeps teens from getting bored.
  5. Tumblr is a visual canvas.  One of the main reasons Tumblr is so popular with teens and even college students is because of its visual nature.  Images are engaging.  Writing text is not required making it easy to create and share visually enticing Tumblr scrolls with friends.

     Do you have a teen who loves to use Tumblr?


Parents: Do They Really Dislike Social Media?

    Do parents really dislike social media? It seems every generation of parents has had to worry about something harming their children. For the Digital Generation, parents find that social media is what keeps them awake at night worrying. So, is social media the new enemy for parents?

Concerns Parents Have About Social Media

     What are some possible trouble zones that would put parents under stress? Cyber bullying would be at the top of the list for most parents. You could have an endless supply of other topics including: identity theft, meeting strangers online, flame wars, online pornography, sexting, over sharing information, and cyber stalking. That is just the tip of the iceberg. Then there is the parent who knows their children are online but the parent hasn’t a clue how to use social media. It is easy to see why parents would dislike social media.

     Parents are also concerned about the social platforms. Do their children have a secret online account? Have they shared their password with their boyfriend or girlfriend? Have they turned off their geo-location? Are there photos of their teen online that would be questionable to a college admissions officer? Should they spy on their children’s accounts? Is their child on Instagram and sharing photos with strangers? Should they get monitoring software for their teen’s cell phone? What is the best age to give their child a cell phone?  The list is enormous.

     Parents have every reason to dislike social media. Parents also have to realize that it is not going away. The very best start to protecting your child is to become active on social media. Learn as much as you can and then share what you know with other parents. Ask your children to show you how they use social media. You have a choice. You can lay awake at night and worry or you can take action by learning as much as you can about social media.

Wherever your children are is where you need to be. If your kids are online then you need to be online!


Cyber Bullying Prevention Checklist


 What steps can parents take to protect their children from cyber bullying? The first step a proactive parent can take is to be informed on the issues. Cyber bullying is a result of any online threats, intimidation, offensive language, continued harassment, or sexual exploitations aimed at your child. Here are some suggestions to follow if a cyber bullying incident occurs with your child.

Cyber Bullying Prevention Checklist

  1. Before an incident, talk with your children about specific people they should tell if someone makes them feel uncomfortable online. You may not always be available so this role playing gives them a chance to think ahead if an incident were to occur. It could be another parent, teacher, or coach. The important thing is they know they should notify someone right away. Talking about it ahead of time gives them a plan to implement.
  2. Tell your child not to engage in a hateful online debate even though it may be tempting to respond. Many times others are trying to lure a victim into a flame war.
  3. Watch your child for noticeable signs of distress. If their behavior changes or they do not want to go to school, you should be asking why.
  4. Keep records. If the cyber bullying occurs over the phone, then make a recording if possible. Log the time of day and how many times your child is being contacted.The same goes for texting.
  5. If the threats occur online, take a screen shot. Print off all evidence.
  6. Request a meeting with your child’s teacher and school administrator. Both should be present and be aware of the situation in the event it is occurring at school.
  7. Many times schools will not get involved if the cyber bullying is not happening on school grounds. If that is the case go immediately to your local law officials in your area and register your complaint. Take all evidence as proof.
  8. Consider contacting a lawyer if you feel you need to know your rights or if your child is not getting protection.

   Our children need to be protected from bullies. If you have a cyber bullying incident,  do not hesitate to take action to prevent it. Here is an Online Safety Checklist for Parents. To view an informative infographic on How To Deal With Cyber Bullying just click this link.

           We all need to work together to prevent cyber bullying! 



Cell Phone Rules For Kids

Cell Phone Rules for Kids

Cell phone rules are a hot topic as kids start back to school. It is every parent’s dilemma: when is your child old enough to get their first cell phone? Every parent has heard it a thousand times. Their child is the only one at school who doesn’t have a phone.

So, you finally relented and decided it was time to purchase a phone. Suddenly, a terrible feeling has just overtaken you right in the middle of the cellular store. It is worse than buyer’s remorse. As your child joyfully embraces their first cell phone, you have this sinking feeling. You ask yourself, “what have I just gotten into?” Now, is the time to think of those cell phone rules in a hurry!

You have a choice. You can either hand the phone back to the customer service representative and become known as the meanest parent on the planet or you can begin a discussion about rules for the first cell phone. Yes, every family is different and you must decide ahead of time what is acceptable. To make the task easier, we have collected  some rules that you may choose to implement. A cell phone is just another form of technology. It can be used in positive ways or negative. Setting expectations early can prevent misunderstandings later on.

Cell Phone Rules

1.  You have the option to start simply with limited features. As your child progresses by showing responsibility you can always add more functions at a later time.

2. Parental controls. Know where they are before you leave the cellular store and how to use them.

3. Know the password to the phone and make sure your child knows they are not allowed to change it.

4. Investigate and use additional security software that will send you alerts for profanity, adding friends to the calling list you do not know, sexting, and much more.

5. Establish when the phone can be used. What time does the phone have to be powered off at night? at school?

6. Teach that they are never to share their phone number on social platforms. Remember anything can be forwarded to other people and strangers.

7. If they have the ability to text, they must always post positive remarks.

8. A phone is like an appliance. It is not a lifeline.

9. There is a record of everything they do on their phone.

10. Remember, no one knows your child better than you.

Good luck and be sure and share your tips as well!



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