Guest speaker Ben Tracy’s sobering personal story served as the backdrop for his remarks to parents and students this week, where he emphasized the need for families to implement social media contracts to protect children and promote responsible use.
After being fired from a high-level job for posts he wrote during his teenage years, Ben Tracy turned his painful experience into advocacy. With college, careers and mental health of students on the line, Ben urges parents to become educated and involved. These are a few of his recommendations for navigating the social media landscape as a family. More detail can be found in the “Parents Need to Know” section of commonsensemedia.org.
-Limit access to social media apps until the student is at least 13 years old.
-Monitor social media use with apps such as Bark. Scheck Hillel uses Bark to monitor eHillel.org student accounts.
-Awareness. Get up to speed on popular social media apps. These include YouTube, TikTok, Snapchat, Whatsapp, Kick & Discord. Snapchat is considered the most problematic of all.
-Mental Health. Studies have shown a link between social media use and depression.
-Privacy: Set accounts to private.
-Create a social media contract within the family and implement a “digital bedtime.”
-Set the example!
With thanks to our Upper School Student Life and School Counseling offices for bringing this important resource to Scheck Hillel.