Gone Viral: How to Teach Your Kids About Being Mindful Online
There is no doubt in my mind that you know what it means to “go viral”—photos go viral, videos go viral, gifs go viral. The internet is a place of mindless self-indulgence, and nothing helps indulge the human mind in absolute ridiculous like the Harlem Shake.
For people that are trying to get more video or page views, going viral is what is sought. But what if you post a not-so-flattering picture on Facebook and that goes viral? What happens if a child predator gets ahold of pictures of your kids? Major issues and major heartache can follow.
To illustrate just how fast pictures can go viral, a fifth grade teacher (location of the school unknown) took a picture of herself holding a sign that said “I’m talking to my 5th grade students about internet safety and how quickly a photo can be seen by lots of people. If you are reading this, please click ‘like.’ Thanks!”
Within 24 hours, the photo of the teacher was shared over 13,000 times! This isn’t including how many times it was “liked” or how many times it was shared to other websites; this was only the amount of times that it was shared on Facebook.
Granted, this picture was asked to be shared, and because of this, I think it gained the speed and traction that it did. However, this is very illustrative of just how careful we are with the things that we share on Facebook or Twitter—really the internet in general.
Pictures of our kids could get into the wrong hands; things we post on Facebook and Twitter can be accessed and seen by people we may want to leave in the dark when it concerns our personal life, i.e., employers, estranged mothers-in-law, legal administrators in a public urination case, etc.
This 5th grade teacher was trying to demonstrate to her students that they need to be extremely careful when they choose what they are posting online. Once you post something online, it’s there for good, so be careful with what and with whom you share personal life online.
How will you teach your kids about online safety and mindfulness? What do you think about this teacher's lesson?