Last week, Jesse Miller of Mediated Reality came to speak to Ross Road parents and intermediate students about internet safety and social media awareness. He had two sessions with the students on Thurs, Oct. 8th: one with the Grade 4-5 students and one with the Grade 6-7s, and a presentation for parents the night before – thank you to those parents who joined us on Wednesday evening! We hope you enjoyed it as much as we did. In fact, we liked his presentation and main message so much that we would like to share a few details from the student meetings:
Among the Ross Road Grade 4s and 5s:
- About 25 to 30 students are on Facebook, despite the fact that you have to be 13 years old to sign up. Several volunteered their ‘Facebook age’ to be 13 (most of them), but a couple of them are 15 or 19 on facebook. This means they will read ads appropriate for 18 and 19-year-olds on the sidebar of their Facebook wall.
- About 10 of them had experience chatting live with strangers through their Xbox/Playstation headsets.
- About 15 had experienced being woken up at night by the sound of an incoming text message – someone got woken up at 3 AM the other night!
Among the Ross Road Grade 6s and 7s:
- About 50 are on Facebook. They are a bit closer to the ‘legal’ age, but about 10 of them are signed up as students at Argyle. Most of these students reported having between 100 and 300 ‘friends’ on Facebook.
- About 15-20 of them declared that they post photos on Facebook or the internet.
- 2 students had been on ‘Formspring,’ an online chat site where you can chat and ask questions anonymously.
- About 10 students said they had written ‘inappropriate’ text messages that they would instantly delete, if they thought their parents would see them. These students didn’t know that these texts are saved for 90 days by law and that their parents could, in fact, ask the provider for a print-out of these same text messages for any given period. There were some pretty shocked faces in the crowd when Jesse Miller told them this!
Jesse Miller also shared with the Grades 6s and 7s, how easy it is for a stranger to simply look up someone’s name on Facebook, then Google the name to find personal information about them such as phone numbers and photos.
Jesse’s general message was to encourage the students to always think about safety and privacy when going online on whatever social media they choose. “If something would feel weird, bad or inappropriate if it happened in real life, then it’s weird, bad or inappropriate on the internet as well” was his key message. He thereby emphasized the importance of applying the same rules for social interaction in real life and on the internet. Stop and think before posting or texting anything! Pretty simple, really!
If parents or students have any further questions they would like to ask Jesse Miller, please contact him directly:
and mention that you are contacting him in connection with his visit to Ross Road. The PAC will also be happy to forward questions to him, if this works better for you.
Email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org