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…’
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“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.
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.
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