Kids contribution: Learning Community — A guide to social media

When Xpress asked local educators for ideas about the focus of the annual Kids Issue, two distinct ideas rose to the top: activism and a kid’s view of the world. This week we focused on activism. We received a cornucopia of submissions, including the one you see below. 

I watch the girl position the phone in front of her face, and the shutter clicks. She looks down at the picture, immediately puts a caption on it, and posts it on Instagram. That’s an everyday thing you see just walking around in town or at your friend’s house. It is something we have all gotten used to.

I have wanted Instagram for a long time now. There are so many good things about it, from being able to interact with your friends and meet new people to sharing what’s going on in your life and learning about others’.

But there are some cons, too. For one, it can be addicting: You can become obsessed with it and never want to put it down. Most families have rules about social media use, such as not being on it at the table during mealtimes, not having your phone on after a certain time, and many more. Some kids respect those rules; others are more reluctant to follow them. Nonetheless, they can help people use social media more intelligently.

There are more risks you should consider if you’re thinking about getting any social media app. One of them is the risk of cyberbullying, which occurs daily and can damage self-esteem. Another thing you should consider is that you never know who might be on Instagram and find something they can use to invade your privacy. Keep in mind that you are always at risk. One thing you can do is avoid showing your face in any pictures you post. You can also think about not using your actual name as your username. Both of these things will help protect your privacy.

With that said, get social media apps if you want. I am a person who wants apps like Instagram, and I see the positives as well as the negatives. It’s your decision, so do what you think is best.

— Toria Hicks, The Learning Community

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