‘#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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5 Reasons Why We Don't Want Our Teens Oversharing

In an article originally published on the Huffington Post, Clinical Psychologist, Barbara Greenberg shares her top fears when it comes to teens oversharing on social media.

Every generation of teens has its own unique set of trends including clothing and communication styles. Consider that this generation of teens seems to bare more skin than past generations. At least that's how it appears to me and to many many frustrated sets of parents. Similarly, the current generation of teens share more information about themselves publicly because of the popularity of social media.

We now have a generation of teenagers who barely (a little levity) understand the meaning of keeping things private. In fact, when they share too much information with their parents they are sometimes told "TMI" which refers to Too Much Information. I get this. There is only so much information that parents can tolerate at a single sitting. Look, even though, you want your teens to open up to you, many parents have asked me what to do when their loquacious kids get a little too generous verbally. I suggest that parents listen up because there must be a reason why your kids are opening up to you.

Teens these days are also sharing way too much private information about themselves on social media sites. At least that's my opinion. In fact there is a word that has become popular which describes this behavior. #oversharing

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The Decline of Online Privacy

High-profile data breaches and issues arising over who actually owns personal data have raised important questions about online privacy and the security of personal information. There is a growing sense of fear and powerlessness among the public as businesses and governments continue to gather more and more personal data. The truth is, digital privacy is becoming a myth and it will take a combination of personal responsibility and policy changes to change the tide.

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Is Public WiFi Safe?

Public WiFi is any network connection that doesn't require a pass code or key code to access. They are open to anyone who is within range. Devices such as cell phones, tablets and laptops will pick up a signal and begin to connect with it if their WiFi setting is turned on. It makes no difference if the signal is being transmitted from a person's home, the local coffee shop or a local business.

The question of safety is always on your mind when dealing with your children and your financial information. With more and more teens having internet capabilities on their cell phones and other devices, parents are concerned with the safety of public WiFi networks. The problem is not with the networks, so much as with the devices being used to connect with it.

Who Can Connect With Public WiFi

Once an internet signal is set up and broadcasting, anyone can access it that has the pass code or access to the router. If there is no code, anyone can pick it up. This includes

  • your children

  • your neighbors

  • people passing by in vehicles

  • people walking within a certain distance

  • hackers

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They Loved Your G.P.A.,Then They Saw Your Tweets

The following is a great article from the New York Times about social media and the impact it can have on your child's academic future. If you are interested in this topic, please join us for a Twitter party at 1pm EDT today to discuss this important issue. Learn more here.

At Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Me., admissions officers are still talking about the high school senior who attended a campus information session last year for prospective students. Throughout the presentation, she apparently posted disparaging tweets about her fellow attendees, repeatedly using a common expletive.

Perhaps she hadn’t realized that colleges keep track of their social media mentions.

“It was incredibly unusual and foolish of her to do that,” Scott A. Meiklejohn, Bowdoin’s dean of admissions and financial aid, told me last week. The college ultimately denied the student admission, he said, because her academic record wasn’t competitive. But had her credentials been better, those indiscreet posts could have scuttled her chances.

“We would have wondered about the judgment of someone who spends their time on their mobile phone and makes such awful remarks,” Mr. Meiklejohn said.

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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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Digital Parenting: Making the iPhone a wePhone

Giving your child their first phone brings with it much of the same responsibility that comes with getting their own set of keys to a car. You would not send your kids out on the road without first ensuring they knew how to operate a car safely nor should you hand over a smart phone without some rules of the road.

We recently discussed the safety and security aspects of Android phones – this post is more specifically focused on iPhones. Set some rules for your kids that range from times of day that are off limits for phone usage, asking permission for app downloads, creating “screen free” hours for the whole family, no phone usage while driving, no phones at the table, etc… Phone privileges should be consistently tied to these rules, if a rule is broken the phone is taken away for a predetermined amount of time. Do remember to model the behavior yourself to show the importance of following the rules. 

For device set up, please consider the following factors:

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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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ICYMI: A Snapchat Security Breach Affects 4.6 Million Users

ICYMI (in case you missed it) there was breaking news on the Snapchat front this week. Here is an article from the Washington Post detailing exactly what happened.

Snapchat users are waking up to troubling news: Thanks to a gap in the service's security, the phone numbers and usernames for as many as 4.6 million accounts have been downloaded by a Web site calling itself SnapchatDB.info.

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Teens Get Online 'Eraser Button' With New California Law

This article was originally published in the Huffington Post by Kathleen Miles.

California teens get an online "eraser button" under a law signed by Gov. Jerry Brown on Monday.  The law makes California the first state to require websites to allow people younger than 18 to remove their own postings on that website, and to clearly inform minors how to do so.

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Password Protection--Is Yours Too Easy?

According to the Pew Research Center, a nonprofit “fact tank,” 85 percent of U.S. adults use the internet, and 56 percent of all Americans are smartphone users. Most of us have multiple email accounts, are members of social network sites, shop, bank, and store personal data online. As a result of the vast amount of sensitive personal information stored in these various places, you may find yourself wondering if your current password is an effective deterrent against online criminals looking to profit by accessing your personal data.

Your Personal Information is Easily Hacked
Your computer itself stores information about sites you frequently visit in the form of internet cookies and temporary internet files on your computer. Often forgotten about by web browsers, these files assist hackers in gaining access to your personal information.

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Mom’s Confession: Yes, I Overshare Online

Check out this take on why one mom admits to oversharing online from HLN's Generation Overshare, a great site focused on the blurred lines between what we share online and what we keep private. The original post is written by Leslie Marinelli, award-winning humorist, writer, wife and mother of three.

Hi, my name is Leslie and I overshare on the Internet.

But before you lump me into the narcissistic duck-faced-selfies category, there is something I think you should know: I overshare because I care.

You see, I’m not out there Instagramming my atypical moles or tweeting blow-by-blow (pun intended) accounts of my children’s Bristol Stool Scale results.

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Anti-Bullying Rules Announced by Ireland's Department of Education

A big win for cyber-bullying prevention in Ireland happened a few days ago. Read the excerpt from the original post by the Irish Examiner.

Cyber-bullying, homophobic and racist bullying all form part of the Department of Education's new anti-bullying measures.

All primary and secondary schools will have to adopt an anti-bullying policy by no later than the end of term next Summer.

Teachers will be responsible for recording bullying incidents and, where necessary, contacting the parents of the pupils involved.

The Irish Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Children has welcomed the measures.

"Online bullying is very prevalent and it's certainly something we would like to address and it's been mentioned within the procedures by the Department of Education," said Andrew Jackson, national anti-

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Pew Research Center Study -- Teens, Social Media, and Privacy

This is one study that all parents (and all people in general, really) need to check out! It is all about teens, social media and privacy and has great facts on what teens post, what social media sites they use the most, what areas they are concerned about while online, and much more. This study is full of great information. The more you know, the better equipped you will be to keep your kid's safe!    

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Teen Sexting Criminalized by States

Here is some great information about current laws in US states in regard to sexting from the blog at Lawyers.com.

States continue to outlaw sexting by teens – to each other or to adults – even as it grows more popular among them.

 The Problem of Permanence

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Digital Parenting: Get Tangled Up in Vine

Digital parenting is an increasingly important part of raising kids today, and rightfully so. Most parents want their kids to be able to stay in touch with their friends and family and share what inspires them through different mediums. 

Doesn't it seem like just about everyone has at least one social media account today? They are so pervasive, and slip themselves into every corner of life, that just this morning I found myself going to Twitter to find out the news on the latest updates in the Boston Marathon bombing. And I was amazed at all the information I had from multiple sources in one location.

Speaking of Twitter, you might not have heard about its latest social network project that has been increasingly gaining popularity among teens, tweens, videographers, people who want to be in the know about the latest social network, and Vine is the newest sharing tool. Being able to share favorite videos and photos is always fun, but parents need to know exactly what it involves.

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10 Things Parents Do On Social Media That Embarass Their Kids

Most adolescents and teens can’t imagine a world without Facebook, Twitter and other social media sites. As a parent, you may feel a responsibility to monitor your child’s social media use, and that makes sense. 

However, it’s important to make a distinction between necessary monitoring, which you’re doing for your child’s safety, and simply impinging on their social life and interactions with their friends. Facebook for kids is a form of interaction – one that most children want limited to their peers as much as possible. 

Here are 10 things that parents do on social media that might be embarrasing to their children: 

1. Posting Too Much

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The 10 Most Used Cyberbullying Tactics

No one wants to see their child being bullied. As bullying becomes more and more prevalent in the media, it has become obvious that bullying no longer just takes on the "Steal your lunch money" tactics of past generations

Cyberbullying is, in many ways, more intense than in-person bullying. Cyberbullying acutely targets a child's insecurities, making the emotional and psychological bruises far more permanent than the traditional punch or swirly. Cyberbullying allows bullies to feel anonymous, freeing them up to say harsher, more pervasive things than they might say in person. Cyberbullies generally face fewer consequences- unlike in a traditional school context, there are no adults monitoring for signs of abuse on a regular basis, so unless a parent, guardian, or school official is tipped off to the problem, it can go unpunished for a substantial amount of time. 

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We are pleased to announce that Bark will be taking over where we leave off. The uKnowKids mission to protect digital kids will live on with Bark. Our team will be working closely with Bark’s team in the future, so that we can continue making the digital world a safer, better place for kids and their families. While we are disappointed we could not complete this mission independently, we are also pleased to hand the uKnowKids baton to Bark.
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