A Reminder for Teens About Digital Citizenship After Harvard Revokes Admissions by Christine Jones

Teens Tech Parenting
6 years ago

A Reminder for Teens About Digital Citizenship After Harvard Revokes Admissions

I often find myself talking to my teen son about the importance of digital citizenship. Typically, I get the "yeah, I know mom" and then he ends the conversation. Even if I keep talking, I can tell he's no longer listening. This week, I shared a news story on this topic and suddenly I had his full attention. I shared an article about how Harvard just rescinded 10 admissions offers to students after discovering that they had posted offensive memes on Facebook. 

There's no denying that the memes were sexually explicit, racist and totally offensive. But, what was particularly impactful when talking to my son about the story is that the students had posted them to a PRIVATE Facebook group. This fact is what makes sharing this particular news story with teens so impactful. Too often in today's digital world, where most teens have access to social media in the palm of their hands, they are under the assumption that there are actually places online where their postings are private. This was a great opportunity to have a real-life discussion, with a relevant example, demonstrating that people's online behavior and their digital footprints truly do have real-life consequences and that nothing posted online is truly ever private.  

This experience also illustrated the benefit of using topical news stories to initiate important conversations with my kids. We had a thoughtful conversation about an important topic without him getting defensive. I know I had his full attention.

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Elisa Schmitz
This is so awesome, Christine Jones ! I love that you used the Harvard situation as a way to really connect with your son about a huge issue, for all of our kids. So glad to know it resonated. They really are listening, if we speak to them on terms they can relate to. Thanks for sharing!! xoxo
Ann Marie Patitucci
What a great way to use a headline to engage with your son in a meaningful way about digital citizenship! Love this, Christine Jones!
Kelli Porcaro
Wow not that's an attention grabber! Thanks for sharing Christine Jones

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