Developing Wise Social Media Consumers

October 17, 2023 / Perspectives in Education/All News

In this blog post, we learn how Jackson Academy works to prepare students to be good digital citizens.

As adults, when we see children misbehave or act out, we often view these situations as opportunities to teach them about different ways to handle conflict or manage crises. In doing so, they learn that although some circumstances may be beyond their control, their reactions and subsequent behavior are not. The overuse of technology by school-aged students is a concern many parents share. Specifically, many parents and teachers share the worry that students spend too much time on their devices, often with headphones on their ears, effectively blocking out the world around them. The natural reaction is to limit technology use and specifically students’ exposure to social media. However, it may be beneficial to adopt an alternative perspective about youth and their attraction to social media. 

As you may know, our mission at Jackson Academy is to inspire and equip students to live a life of purpose and significance. In a world overloaded with content from the internet, it is easy to dismiss social media as a nuisance. There is without a doubt, a considerable amount of content on the internet that is not worth our time. However, it is possible that selective and responsible participation in some forms of social media can assist in developing positive character traits in youth today.

Instill Appreciation 

The content available on social media platforms can originate from creators around the world. This factor introduces students to a multitude of diverse perspectives and cultures. Having a global perspective can encourage empathy for others and lead to a better understanding of others’ experiences. For example, an Instagram video about how classrooms differ around the world can instill an appreciation for the school they attend and the life they enjoy at home. For those with younger students, selecting shows or apps that are set in different countries or environments different than yours can provide similar benefits.

Model Respect

We would never condone posts that ridicule or bully others, but should our students encounter such content, we can incorporate discussions with students about what responsible and ethical online behavior looks like. Helping them differentiate between what is right and wrong sets a great foundation towards becoming good internet citizens who are respectful of others both online and in real life. They may be impressionable youth today but they will become savvy adult consumers tomorrow.

Discuss Values

There is no question that the internet can be a scary place. For this reason, families must make decisions about acceptable internet use from determining age appropriate apps and sites to deciding on approved screen times. It is important to decide what your values are and the ground rules that must be followed. Thus, when your child comes across something that does not align with your values or is unkind, it presents an opportunity to have an open discussion. Included below are links to resources from three of the more popular social media platforms that may assist families in developing their social media expectations. JA is committed to partnering with parents in raising happy students who are productive members of their communities

Low has been with Jackson Academy since 2022. She works in the Tech Center to ensure that faculty and staff have the tools to integrate technology successfully in the classroom. Before coming to JA, Low, a former Genius for Apple, Inc., oversaw Tech Support and helped manage the 1:1 initiative for Rankin County School District. A 1:1 school offers an Apple device for each student.