‘#SELFIE’ Is the Song of the Instagram Generation

Have you heard the "Selfie Song" that's sweeping the Internet? Many people believe that the Selfie song captures Generation Y. Read on to learn about it and watch the music video below to judge for yourself! This article was originally published on Yahoo Tech by Jason O. Gilbert.

Every once in a great while, a song emerges to capture an era, a scene, a way of life. Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit” defined grunge music in Seattle in the 1990s; “Stayin’ Alive,” and the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack from the Bee Gees, crystallized disco in the ’70s. 

Now, the self-centered, social network-centric Internet era has its own defining jam: It’s called “#SELFIE,” and, yes, the hashtag is part of the title. The song, from New York City DJ duo The Chainsmokers, perfectly encapsulates the Instagram-obsessed, nightclub-hopping, selfie-posing twentysomethings who take over large swaths of New York, Los Angeles and other lounge-friendly metropolises on Friday and Saturday nights.

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Lack of Digital Parenting Could Cost You Money

Cyberbullying and sexting aren't the only things that parents need to worry about when a child begins to use Facebook, Instagram or other social media sites. There can be monetary consequences if appropriate Digital Parenting techniques are not put to use.

Take for instance the case of Patrick Snay, he won an age discrimination suit against an employer, or so he thought. His daughter posted an announcement to Facebook about the victory before the deal was completed. This violated the terms of the settlement and a court agreement. It cost Mr. Snay the settlement of $80,000 and caused emotional distress for his entire family.

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20 High Schoolers Suspended for Retweeting Gossip, Cyberbullying

Is your teen active on Twitter? If so, it's probably a great idea to show this blog post to your high school teen or tween. 

20 students at an Oregon High School were suspended earlier this month for retweeting allegations about a female teacher flirting with students. According to the Huffington Post article below, administrators at the school say retweeting the post amounted to a form of cyberbullying, and that the students’ behavior violated the district student handbook, which defines cyberbullying as the "use of any electronic communication device to harass, intimidate or bully."

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Digital Parenting Opinion: Let Kids Run Wild Online

This piece entitled "Let Kids Run Wild Online", written by Danah Boyd, was published in Time recently. While I disagree with a few things mentioned in this piece,  the overall message is something that uKnowKids has been preaching for quite sometime: you have to communicate, trust and interact with your child to keep them safe online. 

The following excerpt is something I have a problem with though, and it is mainly just one word. "As teens have moved online, parents have projected their fears onto the Internet, imagining all the potential dangers that youth might face–from violent strangers to cruel peers to pictures or words that could haunt them on Google for the rest of their lives." The reality is this: cyberbullying, sexting and online predators are not imagined things. They are real, bona fide digital dangers. I know because my son was targeted by one of those child predators.  

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Should Teachers and Students Be “Friends” Online?

A new social network-related issue that has come up in recent years is the debate about student-teacher friendships within online networks.  Find out what happened in this particular instance and learn more about how student-teacher social profile friendships can affect each party.  This article was originally published on Psychology Today.

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Digital Parenting: Is My Child Ready for Instagram?

Instagram is a social networking site that allows children to share their pictures with friends and family.  As a parent you might be wondering if your child is ready for Instagram. There are positive and negative things about letting your child on such a site. One thing is that they can share fun photos with everyone on their friends list.  Maturity and age are always a factor in your choice to allow your child on Instagram or not. There is an age restriction where you have to be at least 13 years of age but there are plenty of children younger than this on the site.

Make sure your child keeps their page private. This makes it so that only people on their friends list can view their pictures.  You want this because there are people out there who are looking on a site like this to look at young children’s photos.  There can even be a problem with their own classmates being on their page. Some children are known to put crude comments about people’s pictures which can affect your child’s self-esteem. Instagram can unfortunately be a breeding ground for cyberbullying. 

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Digital Parenting: 3 Ways to Protect Your Teen from Her Selfie

We love this article written by Melissa Maypole from the Huffington Post. It is informative and has a great message for parents of teens and tweens! Check it out.

OK, first off, let's bridge the learning gap here. Not to insult anyone's intelligence, but if you're like me, you're probably struggling to keep up with your teen's vocabulary, which is likely growing at an exponential rate and not exactly in a way that might help her ace her SATs. Thus, you may not know exactly what a "selfie" is. Lucky for us (I think), the term was Oxford Dictionaries' Word of the Year for 2013. 
Here's their definition:

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Cyberbullying: The Face Behind the Screen

This article was originally published on Psychology Today by Raychelle Cassandra Lohmann.

Laura sat at her laptop still steaming mad from the incident that had happened earlier with Michelle.  "I'll show her!" she thought.  Just then, Laura had an idea...  "I can set up a bogus email account and create a fake Facebook page.  I'll put Michelle in her place without her even knowing who did it."  After a setting up her new identity, Laura became "Julie".  Pleased with herself Julie launched a full blown cyber attack on her once friend Michelle.  "See if she ever messes with me again", Julie laughed.  On the other end of the computer, Michelle sat with her mouth gaping open.  She couldn't believe what she was reading.  "Who's Julie?" she thought.  "What did I do to her?"  Michelle's heart was beating fast and tears began to stream down her face. 

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Digital Parenting: What Is Your Teen's Online Reputation?

If you have a high school student who is interested in attending college, you need to check out this article from Psychology Today about digital parenting and your teen's online reputation. 

Soon it'll be that time of year when college bound seniors start gearing up to submit their college applications in anticipation to get that awaited message, "ACCEPTED".Just like many college bound students, Jake couldn't wait to hear back from his number one college pick.  Finally, the day came.  He logged on to his account and saw that he had notbeen admitted to the college of his dreams.  Shock and disappointment set in.  He knew his grades and test scores were border line, but he was very active in athletics and even held leadership roles in a couple of clubs at school.  Could there be another reason he didn't get accepted?

As the admission committee reviewed applications Jake was right on the fence.  What kept him from getting

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Why You Shouldn't Applaud the New NYC Social Media Guidelines

In case you missed it, the New York City Department of Education released some guidelines for social media use. Here is an article from Rebecca Levey, co-founder of KidzVuz.com about why parents shouldn't be so quick to embrace these guidelines. It was originally published on the Huffington Post.

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21 Powerful Tips To Prevent Kids Cyberbullying

This article was originally posted on BlogHer and written by WomenLoveTech.

I get sick in the stomach when I read about teenagers taking their own lives after extensive online bullying. Nearly 80% of kids under 10 use social media. I urge you to take cyberbullying seriously. The Internet is a great place to learn, to be entertained, to share and communicate, but not a place for bullying.

Up to 35 percent of 8 to 11 year olds have their own mobile phone, rising to 94 per cent of 16 to 17 year olds. Children and young people are increasingly gaining access to the internet via their mobiles, yet only a very small percentage have discussed cybersafety with their parents.

I hope these 21 powerful tips to prevent kids cyberbullying will guide you and will help your kids. Please share this list with them.

1. Do not respond to any cyberbullying message, block the person and tell a trusted person.

2. When you are upset, walk away from your computer or your smartphone.

3. Do not write anything against another person, one day you will regret it but it will be too late.

4. Do not share with anyone (except parents) your passwords, your BFF is not an exception.

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Every Parent's 3 Biggest Facebook Fears -- And What To Do About Them

Check out this article written by Dan Tynan, and featured on Yahoo! Tech.

Despite its many flaws, Facebook is a pretty cool way to reconnect and stay in touch with long lost friends and relations. It’s also a relatively safe environment for teens to learn the ropes of digital citizenship – safer, at least, than many of the alternatives.

But parents often have the wrong idea about Facebook and social networks in general. In fact, they have two wrong ideas.

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Ciara Writes an Open Letter to Cyberbullies

Even famous celebrities are taking notice of cyberbullying.

I used to sometimes like visiting some of the blog sites to see what new things are happening in the world! Things like cool photos, current events, etc. But nowadays it seems like there's a competition with sites on "Who Can Tear Someone Down the Most." The stories are going from cool and creative to pure drama. Even the comment sections are beginning to get out of control and people are using the platforms to exercise a false sense of power. Singer Ciara wrote an open letter to cyberbullies on her blog. Check it out!

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Instagram: Scoping Out Whether Predators Are Looking In

Deciding whether your child is ready for Instagram has to be determined on how much knowledge you give them in navigating Instagram's security. When someone posts pictures on Instagram, security features are there, but they can be misleading in how many ways a predator can work around them. Take a look at some of the methods predators can use to look in on your child's photos and how you may have to take individual action to make sure this doesn't happen.

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Digital Parenting: A Guide To Facebook Training Wheels

Your child has been begging for a Facebook page and you have finally decided you are ready to let them have one.  The thought of them having their own account can be overwhelming and it can be difficult to know where to start.  Everyone wants their children to be safe on the internet and in order to get them started its important you tread lightly. Below are simple steps you can take as part of digital parenting in order to prepare your child for their first Facebook page.

Keep it only family – It is important that in the beginning children keep their page with only family and close friends on their 'friends' list. This will lower the risk of cyberbullying.

Teach them about cyberbullying – Let them know that cyberbullying is not ok and to let you know if anyone is harassing them on the internet. This will also let them know that it is not ok to do it to others.

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Digital Parenting: Is My Child Ready For Twitter?

Twitter is a fast paced, information loaded social networking site that many find to be too much to handle. At the same time, there are others who have adopted the social network as part of their overall usage of the Internet and now say that they are hooked on it. So, you have to ask yourself as part of digital parenting, "Is my child ready for Twitter?". 

Maturity

The maturity level of your child in particular is a large part of the answer about if they are ready for Twitter. Luckily, with Twitter there are not some of the pitfalls that other sites might have which are inappropriate for children. Rather, with Twitter the concern is more about how much time they will spend on it and what kind of things they will say to the public. 

Watch What You Say!

Perhaps the most important part of the Twitter conversation that you have with your children is the part about making sure that they understand that what they say on Twitter is broadcast to the Twitter using world. This can be both very cool, and quite scary at the same time. There is a point at which some of the information that is going out may not be things that should be said at all. Thus, the child needs to have this part understood. 

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Would Boycotting Certain Sites That Allow Cyberbullying Be Effective?

Cyberbullying continues to become the individual terrorism of the online world without any end in sight. With the U.K.'s National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children recently citing some sobering statistics, you can also see how much of a worldwide problem cyberbullying has become. In the NSPCC figures, cyberbullies now target one out of every five children online.

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Digital Parenting: Are Teens Really Leaving Facebook?

This article was originally posted on the Huffington Post by Sue Scheff.

"Young Users see Facebook Dead and Buried" and "Facebook's So Uncool" are just two recent headlines alleging that kids are leaving the social media site in droves.

Do we really believe teens are abandoning Facebook?

It is true that Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat and Whatsapp are popular with the kids today, but let's face it, none of them have the functionality of Facebook.

When you compare the other social media platforms, none of them offer the layers of information and capability to create event invitations, groups and lists, among other unique features. While some of the alternate platforms offer a few of these features, Facebook offers diversity and depth the others don't.

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Cyberbullies Don't Take Holidays Off: Words Wound

This article was originally posted on the Huffington Post by Sue Scheff, one of our favorite parenting bloggers. 

Wouldn't it be nice if there was a time when you could power up your electronics -- whether it's your iPad, tablet, PC or cell phone -- and not have to worry about any type of hostile content?

Internet trolls and cyberbullies never take vacations or summer breaks, and they don't recognize holidays.

This holiday season, as cyberbullying and bullying sadly continues, you can give your teens and kids the gift of cyber-armor!

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Digital Parenting: How Much Internet Activity is Too Much?

Most news concerning adolescents and the Internet highlight the actual dangers of online scams, cyber-bullies, and sexual predators that endanger credulous, gullible teens. The other risk is teens themselves. Perpetual hours spent online updating Facebook pages, writing tweets, emailing, instant messaging, sending photos on Instagram, downloading music, visits to game sites, shopping, and in some instances gambling, all contribute to the disturbances we see today regarding teen online activity.     

Kids today are spending on average slightly more than ten-hours per day, every day, online. This means that out of 168 hours in a week, kids spend 75 of those hours with some type of electrical or technical gadget.  

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