In April 2011, I gave this presentation in my son’s school in Singapore for the children of 13 to 15 years old.
When I look back at it, I feel now this presentation or message should be given to 10 to 13 years old children.
In this presentation I spent good amount of time in giving context and making children ready to accept the message about how to use social media. What I have seen is that teenager children don’t accept things just because some one is telling them to do it. They want to know why, they are ready to question everything. But at the same time if we take them into confidence and share our thought process they appreciate it ( may not necessarily agree with it, but at least their readiness to listen is much higher).
There are three steps in this presentation before the actual message :
1. Quiz : This is just to make the learning fun. Make them relax and enjoy
2. “There can be different views about same thing” ( basically telling them that don’t have to look at any message as ‘one is right and other is wrong’). Hence I have given two examples – count the number of squares. You always get so many different answers. And you achieve your objective of conveying that there are different views about the same thing hence they should listen to parents / elders instead of taking ‘I am right/ you are wrong’ stand.
The second is a picture of old woman / young woman, it is to reinforce the above message.
3. In the third step I have tried to give them the context as to why they are being told or cautioned repeatedly about the use of social media. Whey parents / teachers are constantly reminding them to be careful. Most children tend to discard the message when told many times, they simple ignore you, hence I wanted to share with them concerns of parents and teachers.
For this purpose, I wanted to impress upon them that social media is a very new concept – less than 20 years old and compare that with all other means of communication which have been there for hundreds of year. There are well established norms of the society over these years. But with social media no one knows what are the norms, what is correct or what is acceptable. So obviously everyone in the society is anxious, at times apprehensive about this new form of the social life. So I wanted them to understand this perspective – when parents / teachers are telling you something there is a reason behind it, they are not there to stop you from doing something just for the sake of it.
By this time, I did find that children were ready to listen what I had to say.
At this stage, I did not take “Dos and Don’t” approach.
I wanted to share with them the impact of social media on our lives and how it is shaping our personal, professional and social life. I believe if we tell them more about the possible results, teenage children are able to take appropriate action to large extent.
My key message was to use 3T approach to decide if you are doing right thing or not. You would read about 3T in the slides.
Then I wrapped up the presentation with some good examples of social media where it is useful. Most often children are told about bad things that are happening because of the social media, I wanted to make sure that children understand that it can be used for betterment as well.
Hope you would like it. Would be happy to get your feedback.