Social Media has been a positive force for youth. It lets them express themselves, helps them overcome social isolation and it gives them the ability to influence the world without the freedom granted by adulthood. There is a darker side to social media as well. The most evident in recent years has been cyber bullying, but it’s not the only issue.
Over the summer Google launched it’s Google+ service. It’s a social media service that integrates user postings, photos, groups (which Google calls Circles) and real-time video chatting (called Hangouts). When Google+ launched there was a lot of conversation about how librarians and educators might integrate it into their work. Here’s an overview of some of the features with ideas on how they might be used:
- Circles may be my favorite part of Google+. The reason? Because I can put groups of people together in a circle and then connect with just those people when I want to start a conversation or have a Hangout. Circles are really easy to create and those you connect with in Google+ can be in more than one Circle. In a library you might create a circle for different groups of teens. Perhaps one circle for teens who are members of the teen advisory board and another circle for those interested in anime. Or a circle of colleagues that like to talk about technology and another circle just for those who are interested in steampunk. Read More →
There are libraries that don’t blog, tweet, have a Facebook presence, etc. because they aren’t quite sure how to be safe in that environment. By safe I’m talking about being sure that staff are clear on the ways social media can and should be used in a professional setting for professional purposes.
Isn’t the choice not to use social media for this reason similar to not purchasing materials because staff might make mistakes in the selection process? Read More →
It’s likely that you don’t want to miss recent news stories about social media, technology, and teens:
- A story in the New York Times on sexting titled A Girl’s Nude Photo, and Altered Lives focused on the tale of a middle school girl whose sending of a nude photo to her boyfriend, via her cellphone, had really horrible ramifications. One of the things that really struck me about the story was the quick involvement of law enforcement. Fortunately, the students involved were able to take part in a community service program instead of going to court for the sexting. However, the story points to the need to find methods to educate teens about sexting in order to help guarantee they have the skills and knowledge necessary in order to make smart decisions about this kind of text messaging. The issues related to sexting and teens were discussed in a show that aired yesterday on Boston’s WBUR radio station. Read More →