“How to use social media” For early teenagers

April 9, 2014

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.

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“When you can not change things in a hurry, change the context”

April 3, 2014

Imagine this :

You were the world champion in a particular sport for over 6 years, you lost that title to someone almost half of your age, your performance declines further and people have started writing you off. There are comments with a near cetainity that you were finished and your days were over. Next year you enter into the tournament, winner of the which would be challenging the world champion. Before the event you are not even amongst top 3 favourites. And you emerge as a winner with a thumping victory.

Stop imagining.

This is the real story of Vishwanathan Anand who just won the candidates tournament, undefeated, earning the right to challenge the current world champion – who defeated him in 2013, in November 2014.

On his return to Chennai on April 2, in an interview on NDTV among other thing, Vishwanathan Anand talked about “what it felt like playing with his young son, Akhil” The response to that question had a great insight and a message. I have enclosed the audio clip of that response here. For me it had three insights :

 

1. Change of context : When you can not control what has happened or what is happening, you need to find a way out by changing the context or getting into another situation – mentally or physically. This is what he said he did when it was a tough time to accept that he was no longer a world champion. He spent time playing with his son. Which basically relaxed him, helped him forget what had happened and most importantly helped him prepare for the next phase.

2. Playing with your son (or kids) : This is another important aspect. Spending time with your son is so much relaxing, it is such a stress buster. It gives so much happiness that it makes us mentally strong to face the world.

3.  When I was listening to the interview, I thought his son might be 8 or 9 years old, old enough to play chess with world champion dad. But when I googled, I found that he is just 3 years old. And if a world champion dad feels good about playing a 3 years old boy, he must be really really good, another world champion in the making? Lets wait and watch.

 


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