For a young person social media can be a Crystal Maze of awkwardness and mind games – full of traps and ambushes with a prevailing sense of kill or be killed!
We run training for teachers, youth workers and young people themselves on how to stay safe in social media. Yesterday we shook this this up a bit and asked a bunch of young people what new rules or laws they would add to online behaviour.
This question came from the Youth For Christ, Rock Solid Playing Cards. A great resource available here.
Here are their responses, unchanged and unchallenged. What do you think? Particularly think about what fears these answers reveal and how we could respond to them:
– You should not be allowed to comment on something if you haven’t read or watched it through.
– If you wouldn’t say it to their face in front of a crowd, then don’t comment it on their status.
– Keep your opinions to yourself – no liking or disliking it at all.
– You should only be able to publicly comment on a post with the creator’s permission.
– Fake profiles should always have a ‘this person is fake, don’t trust them’ warning on them.
– When feeling bad, you should be able to ask for help and have people reply properly without trolling or silly jokes – real help.
– All comments should be made by video.
– No comments should be anonymous.
– All ‘offensive’ trolling should be banned.
– You should be able to see who is looking at your photos.
– Can’t tag random people without their permission first – or be allowed to share a photo of them anywhere without their permission first.
– Don’t allow friends to talk to you about social media if you don’t have social media.
– Don’t celebrate something others don’t have (like Christmas) in case it offends them.
– Use your real name .
– Stop correcting people’s English.
– No ALL CAPS!
– Ban all manipulative ‘scroll down to ignore, like or comment if you care’ posts.
– Stop trolling everyone!
– Clamp down on internet slang.
– Ban click bait pages that only make you like them just to give publicity to other pages.
– Limit on what & how much you can share – awful posts should be vetted first.
– Too many selfies!!!
– Don’t allow statuses about an ex .
– Don’t allow statuses about ‘people you know’ without saying their names – especially when it’s obvious!
– Clamp down on the crazy amount of likes people get when they have a baby.
– If you’re not a fan of a thing – don’t go on the page to knock it!
– Don’t allow anyone to change their name to ‘nobody’ – to stop the ‘nobody likes this’ gag.
– Two words: farmville requests
So there they are. Again, think about the fears and questions that these ideas reveal. I recommend asking the same question to your youth group, asking them what they think this reveals and asking how they would respond.