Since the founding of the Center for Humane Technology we’ve received many messages from struggling parents, teachers and students. These documents are a collection of practices that people we’ve spoken with have found helpful. The list is, of course, incomplete and will continue to grow and evolve. There’s an overwhelming number of people and programs working on different forms of these issues for kids parents and educators from a variety of different backgrounds. Our goal isn’t to reinvent the wheel, we want to highlight all the great tools out there but vetting will take time so we appreciate your patience.
To see more research about the invisible Costs technology has put upon us, check out Our Ledger of Harms. There is a specific section about children, though much of the document is likely relevant to the next generation, even if not called out specifically.
Sometimes it can be hard to notice the way social media impacts our offline, real-world behavior. Here are a few examples written by students of when it does. They may serve as interesting conversation starters about these topics as well.
In my friend group, there was a group of 5 girls. They all liked each other, but one of them, “E”, wasn’t as popular as the other girls. One night before graduation the other 4 had a mom and daughter night and they didn’t invite “E” so that they wouldn’t have to include her in any photos or snap stories in order to appear more prestigious.
A group of friends went on a hike to the top of Camelback Mountain in Arizona, a very popular photo spot. Halfway up the hike, the girl who cared most about her image said “I don’t know why I even came, I hate hiking.” She proceeded to post a picture from the top of the mountain.
I was at my friend’s house and he was snapchatting his girlfriend who was laying in bed with very minimal clothes on and my friend knew this was a great opportunity to get some nudes. He made sure not to take any photos with me in order to convey that he wasn’t with anyone in order to maximize the potential of receiving some pics.
A few weeks ago, my friends and I were deciding which park to go to and all of my friends wanted to go to the same one because Snapchat had set up a digital easter hunt and there were a boatload of easter eggs there. I asked my friend what happened when they collected eggs and he told me nothing happened, but that he really wanted to go.
I was at a party when we had my school trip. The party’s host was one of my good friends but she was in a different building. Once I got there and arrived at her floor, I turned the corner to see one of my friends standing there on her phone. “Why are you just standing here?” I asked. She told me that she didn’t want to walk in because it would be awkward. When I asked her why she said because everyone was on their phones and it would be awkward to walk in. We ended up walking in together on our phones.
If you have a story to add or submit, please do so here. Answers will be anonymous and used as conversation starters (students only please).
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There are an overwhelming number of people and programs working on different forms of these issues for kids parents and educators from a variety of different backgrounds. Our goal isn’t to reinvent the wheel, we want to highlight all the great tools out there but vetting will take time so we appreciate your patience.
Common Sense Media is a partner of the Center for Humane Technology. They can be a valuable resource, specifically for their explainers of specific apps your children might be using and how-to’s for setting controls on those apps. If you want to learn more about the apps/games/media your child is watching, they have lots of information breaking that down.