Ignore, Unfollow, or Unfriend? Managing Facebook Connections in Conflicted Times

We all have them: Facebook friends who post something annoying, inappropriate, inaccurate, or upsetting. It could just be accidentally misspelled words or misused vocabulary. Or debating whether slaves helped to build the White House. Or it could be something much worse. Sometimes these posts stem from carelessness, naiveté, or ignorance. Other times they are clear…

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Revenge Porn Research, Laws, and Help for Victims

With presidential candidate Hillary Clinton recently pledging at a town hall meeting that she would do whatever she could to end revenge porn (and cyberbullying [call us, Hillary, we can help! Donald, you too!]), I thought it was time to take a closer look at the phenomenon. A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about…

Sextortion

When I think of the term “sextortion” I think of an offense marked by deceit, manipulation, and the callous exploitation of human vulnerability. I think of trust being violated, and I think of absolute heartbreak from the fallout. Finally, I think of wounds from which it seems very hard to recover. It also reminds me…

Review of “UnSelfie”

Parenting expert and educational psychologist Dr. Michele Borba released a new book last week. This by itself isn’t newsworthy (she has, after all, published roughly a book a year for the last quarter of a century). But this latest contribution has the potential to have a significant impact on parents and their children. I’ve followed…

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Should You Give Your Kid Snapchat or Instagram?

Parents are constantly asking me about their kids and their social media participation. Among other things, they want to know what app or site they should start their child on.  I could recommend some that are specifically designed for young eyes and ears, but those aren’t as popular as the ones that the mass of…

Teaching Snapchat Safety to Teens

In my last blog entry, I sought to help readers unfamiliar with Snapchat with a primer on its background, use, and notable features. While emphasizing that the vast majority of youth use the app in positive ways (based on our extensive anecdotal observations), there are some negatives that may arise on rare occasions. It is…

The Snapchat Revolution: Background, Basics, Pros, and Cons

Snapchat. If you work with youth, you know it’s all the rage. And if you don’t, I bet you’re still hearing about it on a regular basis. Maybe you’ve taken the time to download it and use it. Maybe you have some familiar with how it operates, and why it is the next big thing.…

My Visit to the Columbine Memorial

This past weekend, I had the opportunity to visit the Columbine Memorial in Littleton, Colorado. Even though my family loves Colorado as a vacation destination, I had never stopped by to see what was done to honor those who lost their lives in that horrific tragedy. My friend Dan – who lives in Littleton –…

The Secret to Safety on Anonymous Apps

Despite the recent flurry of increased media attention, anonymous online environments and mobile applications have been around for many years. The social media site Formspring.me arguably introduced the world to the potential consequences of anonymous communications when it launched in 2009. Long before that, though, users routinely created fictitious MySpace profiles or pseudonymous online blogs.…