Teacher shares shocking responses from her students after asking this simple question…   ‘What my parents don’t know about social media is…'”

‘Parents of the world, WAKE. UP. Your kids are living in a world that you are not invited to be part of. And they know how to keep you out.’

The junior high teacher shares with Love What Matters a recent experience that left her feeling ill.

“Today I asked three of my classes to finish this sentence: ‘What my parents don’t know about social media is…’

“You guys. The answers were SICKENING. Heartbreaking. Depressing. I asked 85 ninth-graders (ages 14-15) to finish the sentence. FIVE said they don’t have social media accounts. Five. All 85 kids have an average academic grade of an ‘A’… by all accounts they are ‘good kids.’

“I decided that it would be interesting to ask the teens in my classroom what they thought about putting social media into my child’s hands. I wanted them to give me the honest truth, so I promised them complete anonymity if they would be willing to finish the sentence, ‘What my parents don’t know about social media is…’ I had no idea they were going to be so honest.

“I’ve been teaching for 10 years now. When I started in 2004, a few kids had Nokia and Motorola flip phones. Our biggest concern as teachers was whether or not the kids were texting during tests.

The teacher explains, “Out of the 85 kids who answered, about 70 of them admitted to keeping some kind of social media secret from their parents. It crushed me. I decided to share the information because I believe we are on the brink of a serious mental-health crisis with this generation. They carry these heavy secrets that come with deep emotions, but aren’t learning the appropriate outlets for that emotion, and they aren’t learning how to get secrets off their chests.

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She goes on to say,

I took away two big ideas after I read their responses:
1) This is a problem that can’t be solved with more technology. We have to give them credit and recognize that they are incredibly clever when it comes to social media, and
2) No more talking about the dangers of social media. Just start talking. Period. These kids are looking for emotional outlets…for people who will not judge them when they make mistakes. We need to put down our own phones long enough to build face-to-face relationships so our kids don’t need to seek validation from peers and strangers.

Parents of the world, WAKE. UP. Your kids are living in a world that you are not invited to be part of. And they know how to keep you out. Your teenager DOES NOT NEED a smart phone.

I LOVE these teenage people. It is easy to be critical of the kids, of the parents, and of me. Let’s use this as an opportunity to show my students good digital citizenship. Be kind. Have compassion. In the coming days, I will be working closely with my school, community, and local therapists to learn more about how we can help.”

 

Let’s hope by reading this some parents are shocked into finally taking some action and putting strict guidelines in place for their kids and any social media use.

Share your comments below

This post originally appeared on Love What Matters


  • This was really surprising and a real eye-opener for me

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  • Oh my gosh, this is so concerning.

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  • I’m shocked at the length teens will go to too have social media as their Life! It’s very scary. My kids are only young & to try & protect them & keep technology away is a constant battle, as they have it at school not just at home. And are so much cleverer than me about it!

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  • It’s very scary. Even going back to when I was in school I used to go into chat rooms just to find people to connect with because I felt that no one else understood me and I had few or no friends at school.

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  • It’s scary what happens these days on Facebook.

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  • I am not surprised by any of this. I follow my 16 year old son on FB and Instagram and Snapchat so I can see what he and his friends are doing. They sometimes forget who is following them. I have all of his passwords so I can check in every now and then. ‘m also aware of all of the private accounts his friends have. We use every moment as a teaching moment of what can and does happen on social media. I’m not stupid to think my son doesn’t do anything wrong. He has. And we’ve worked through it all as a family. He is part of group chats that flood him with commentary and info that he sometimes can’t deal with. There is so much of it. These kids are relentless. And we are switched on, connected parents who talk to our child all of the time. He shares with us what his friends are doing on Snapchat. We know who’s drinking underage, who’s smashed at parties, who’s doing the wrong thing. I’m amazed at the lack of parent care or interest in what their kids are doing. And, my hubby and I are constantly challenged by what other parents are not doing, and as a result our son feels hard done by. I do not care that he feels that way. I understand it, but explain it to him that we, his parents, care so much about his wellbeing, his mental health, and the type of person he is. We care. Versus many parents who either don’t care or are happy to put their head in the sand. I absolutely believe the social media situation, as it exists right now, is dire for children and it really worries me. All I can do is work with my son to encourage him to use it in the right and best way, and to keep our communication about it, open.

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  • I take a hardline NO with my kids on owning a smart phone. It doesn’t stop their friends from sharing their smart phones and whatever is on it with MY kids though. ALL parents need to wake up and realise that pre-teens and teens are not emotionally or developmentally ready to have all that access at their fingertips. Why do kids need the internet unless they are at school or doing supervised homework?? If they need to keep in touch with their parents, an old “dumb” phone that just texts messages and sends/receives calls is what I think kids should only have access to.

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  • One issue is that parents want to be friends with their children, friends that don’t enforce boundaries.

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  • One issue is that parents want to be friends with their children, friends that don’t enforce boundaries. The other issue is laziness.

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  • Social media certainly has it’s dangers.

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  • This is so scary. I have a tween who is beginning to venture into the social media world soon and it worries me alot.

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  • I think these kids would be surprised. I’m sure most parents are aware of most of these things, we aren’t that docile

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  • My son hasn’t been exposed to any technology that he’s allowed to use yet and he’s 4. We even control what channel he can watch on tv. We don’t have the internet connected so its only on our mobile phones and we gave no plans of changing that. When we do let him have a phone when he starts going to school on his own one day, it will only be for calls or texts so we can find him if we need to. He will need to prove he can be open and responsible with this stuff before he can go anywhere near it. I was bullied before the internet and I know how awful that was. I refuse to take the risk of having him bullied or be a bully because I think “its just a smartphone”.

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  • Social media is becoming too much, really. I don’t like the way some kids present themselves. The way they post selfies all the time, the need for approval. There is something wrong there. My daughter is 15 and doesn’t have a social media account. I’m glad she doesn’t even want it.

    Reply

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