Friday, February 14, 2014

Another reason responsible social media use must be taught to students AND adults

In case you missed it, a 15-year-old student from Staten Island created a Facebook page called Close NYC Schools During Snow Emergencies expressing discontent over the DOE's decision to keep schools open ThursdayThe high school student employed some smart strategies to help his page gain popularity.  Namely sharing his page on the walls of elected officials.  From there the likes started pouring in. The page went viral attracting nearly 30,000 "Likes" in about a day.  Most of those who came to the page initially had no idea it was a high school student named Jeremy Duenas who was the man behind the page's curtain.

After a day of a blitz of media attention that included many local news outlets, the page creator had this to say to fans of the page:
Thank you everyone for all your outpouring support! From all my family and friends to all of YOU who don't even know me but are praising me anyway. I'm was just a kid from Staten Island and now I feel like I'm more than that.
Some situations this young man encountered included Duenas sharing how he felt about friending some of his page's members. He said this:
People have been asking me for my personal social media accounts and I am not prepared to give that out. People can find a way to use anything against you and I don't need that right now. Thank you for understanding!
He also had to take a strong hand with moderating skills working to get the adults to be better role models making this plea: 
It's hard to keep up with everything that goes on on this page but when negativity is brought to my attention? For lack of a better term, that's a "no no". Keep it appropriate please.
This young man had great sense around how to engage page members. He shared interesting content, like this video from a fellow Staten Islander which instantly brought this young lady the attention of thousands of eyes, to which she shared:
Oh my god didn't realize so many people would see my video! Thanks everyone.

He also shared photographs of empty classrooms, like this one:
Photo: Welcome to first period in The Bronx!

Having the spotlight on you and a platform for change is an incredible experience to go through for anyone. Anyone who knows how to start a Facebook page and has some social media savvy can do just that. If they do, are educators and parents confident that they have prepared them to do this safely and responsibly? 

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