The Allure of Snapchat & The Trouble It Can Cause

The Allure of Snapchat & The Trouble It Can Cause

Snapchat's Allure: Managed Risk

There is barely a teen or Millenial that isn't on Snapchat. 

It's where young people spend their time, meet and share images and videos of themselves with friends.   Not only is everybody using it, but there is a feeling among many users that it's "safer" to use than other social media networks since Snaps "disappear" after a user views it and then closes the Snap and Stories "disappear" after 24 hours. 

Read More

Don't Say NO to Social Media

Don't Say NO to Social Media

Can You Find a Way to Say "YES"?

Your 10 year old child asks “can I have an Instagram account?” and for most parents, their first inclination is to say “no, not yet”. While as parents we need to be aware and vigilant about our kids’ digital footprints, we also need to understand that joining social networks today for tweens and teens is akin to hanging out at the mall or on the playground 30 years ago. It’s where the kids are and it’s where kids socialize, whether we like it or not.

Read More

How Am I Supposed to Teach Social Media Etiquette in 2017?

How Am I Supposed to Teach Social Media Etiquette in 2017?

It is  VERY DIFFICULT to explain to young people why it's NOT okay for them to bully or lie online when the person who holds the highest office in the land does just that and doesn't seem to have to pay any consequences for his actions.  I've heard time and time again, "Why can the President tweet things like that and not get in trouble but I do?".

Read More

WGXA TV - Social Media Plays Role in College Admissions

WGXA News: Social Media's Role in College Admissions

WGXA News: Social Media's Role in College Admissions

 One poll revealed that over half of college admission boards have looked at a student's social media profiles before admitting them / Evan Watson (WGXA)
MACON, Ga. -- Monday is College Decision Day for high school seniors so many of them will pick where they'll head in the fall. However, some colleges and universities could have already made their decisions on some applicants based on social media. Roman Blakley, Director of Admissions at Georgia College, said most schools don't actively monitor an applicant's profiles, but that doesn't mean they can't. "So students should be concerned about what their online presence says about them, because you never know who's going to be looking," Blakely said. Blakley thinks the number of schools who look at sites like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram will continue to rise. That can be trouble if someone is living a double life. "Judging a person based off their social media isn't right because a lot of people have a facade that they put on for the internet," said Westside High student Danielle Tate. Blakley said it's important for high school students to be clean and smart about their social media posts. Many high school students already know that what they post online is far from private. "Take heed to the fact that they can if they wanted to and they can if they needed to," said student Khadeeja Inman. "You should always be conscious of that." It also extends beyond college. "But then also think about the fact the potential employers could be looking also," Blakely said. Julie Fisher, founder of The Social U, said their software acts like an audit for online profiles. "So what The Social U is able to do is give the objective point of view and point out any post that has the potential to cause you problems," Fisher said. Fisher said she's seen several instances where students were denied admission in to a college or university because of social media. Several athletes have been passed on for scholarships because a coach saw a tweet that worried him or her. "I don't really get on it as much anymore," said student-athlete Trey Foster. "When you have to watch what you say you kind of just stop using it as much. I only post things with significance, that you can't take out of context because if you can take it out of context then you don't really need to post it." Fisher said she knew of one instance when a person was not admitted because officials were shown screen shots of the student cyberbullying another person. For some, the easiest solution is to keep everything PG rated. "My Facebook is mostly full of like, family pictures and my dog and things like that," Tate said. "But I've always been conscious of what I post because I know someone would be looking at this in the future." Fisher said her organization polled hundreds of admissions offices and more than half said they do check students' social media profiles at some point. That may not be for every students, but she said you shouldn't leave to to chance.
Click here to view the full story

I Can't Put My Phone Down and It's a Problem

I Can't Put My Phone Down and It's a Problem

I don’t know about you but I think I may need an intervention.

I often put down my phone with the express intention of working on/doing something that doesn’t involve me using my phone at all and then, usually without realizing I’m picking it up, the phone is in my hand and I’m scrolling through social media or playing a game on the device while I was supposed to be focusing on something else.

Read More

College Admissions as a Competitive Sport

College Admissions as a Competitive Sport

College Admissions as a Competitive Sport

Children (and their parents) today start thinking about college at increasingly early ages.

It used to be that discussions about college didn’t come up (besides those related to college sports) until high school and then often not until the 10th or 11th grade.  Today, I hear parents and students talking about college in upper elementary school and certainly in middle school.

Read More

Promposals Aren't Just About Getting a Date

Promposals Aren't Just About Getting a Date

It's Almost Promposal Season. Brace Yourselves.

If you aren't a teenager (or the parent of a teenager) then you probably haven't heard about promposals.  Now that spring is in the air, promposals are all over social media.  It's not enough today to just ask a date to prom, a prom invitation has to be inventive, attention-getting, and worthy of posting on social media.  Visa conducted a survey and found that on average, promposals cost $324 which is about a third of the total average cost of $919 spent on prom in 2015.

Read More

College Applications Complete? Don't Get Too Comfortable

College Applications Complete? Don't Get Too Comfortable

Just Because Your College Applications are Done Doesn’t Mean You Can Post Whatever You Want Online

The regular decision college application due dates are fast-approaching and with most high school seniors either finishing up their final applications or relaxing a bit because they’ve gotten all their applications submitted, many students start to relax when it comes to posting online.

Read More

The Top 7 Things College Admissions Professionals Revealed When Asked About Social Media

The Top 7 Things College Admissions Professionals Revealed When Asked About Social Media

The Inside Scoop on College Admissions

I had the enviable opportunity recently to meet with a group of admissions officers from 10 different colleges and universities to talk about the college admissions process in the digital age.

Read More

Social Media & School Discipline

Social Media & School Discipline

Can You Get In Trouble at School for Posting On Social Media?

Can you ever be disciplined at school for something you say on social media off-campus and outside of school hours?  The short answer to this question is sometimes. When it comes to school discipline, online behavior creates some gray areas.

Read More

Rubin: When Your Social Media Makes a College Say OMG

Rubin: When Your Social Media Makes a College Say OMG

When Your Social Media Makes a College Say OMG

By: Neal Rubin, The Detroit News    11:36 p.m. EDT October 10, 2016

The word “b----” is a minor infraction — only a 1 on a 10-point scale, and zero if you’re referring to a poodle.

The Social U software red-flags it anyway, because you never know who’s peering at your Facebook page. Your mom probably wouldn’t flinch, but a college admissions officer?

Read More

Online Privacy Doesn't Exist

Online Privacy Doesn't Exist

Does online privacy exist?

The Debbie Wasserman Schultz DNC’s email scandal is just the latest in a constant string of public missteps involving emails, posts and texts sent or shared online, not originally intended for public consumption, that became public and led to scandal.  She, like most people who use email, likely assumed her email wouldn't be shared with the world.  She, of course was wrong and now she and the Democratic Party are now dealing with fallout from the reality that online privacy doesn't really exist .

Read More

Cyber-Safety: To Spy or Not To Spy

Cyber-Safety: To Spy or Not To Spy

To Spy or Not to Spy?

I am the founder of a tech company (The Social U) that specializes in scanning and scoring social media accounts for students to ensure that what they post online doesn’t prevent them from getting an internship, a job, a scholarship or into college. We also educate young people on various issues concerning cyber-safety and online etiquette.

Read More

5 Tips for Talking With Your Child About Social Media

5 Tips for Talking With Your Child About Social Media

Tips for Talking About Social Media With Kids

Talking to your kids about social media isn't as easy it might seem.  Below are 5 tips to help you talk to your kids about social media so that they learn to use it properly.

  1. Start early
  2. Don’t make it an inquisition
  3. Show them examples of social media “don’ts”
  4. Use statistics to your advantage
  5. Keep it simple and short
Read More

What Does "Don't Post Anything Inappropriate" Really Mean?

What Does "Don't Post Anything Inappropriate" Really Mean?

Define "Inappropriate"

I’ve heard many parents tell their kids (myself included) “don’t post anything inappropriate online”.  We say this phrase and think we are being good/responsible parents – that we are doing our job when it comes to talking to our kids about being responsible on social media.

Read More

Sorority Girl Says She Was Forced Out Because of a Photo on Tinder

Sorority Girl Says She Was Forced Out Because of a Photo on Tinder

Tinder Trouble

A junior at the University of Nebraska, Omaha says she was forced out of her sorority because of a photo she posted on Tinder, a social media app commonly used to meet people &/or "hook up".  The photo she posted on the site eight months ago (in August) was of her and two sorority sisters wearing their sorority's letters.  She got called into a meeting last week to discuss the photo which was referred to in the meeting as provocative and risque and was told that it violated the sorority's "Policy on Human Dignity" .

Read More