As we all know, the world of social media is constantly evolving. Everyday thousands of people sign up for social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and so on. These aren’t just adults though, increasing numbers of children around the age of eleven to twelve are joining social media sites.
I recently came out of school, only leaving around 18 months ago. Throughout nearly twelve years of education I was not once educated about social media. I personally first signed up for Facebook at around eleven, my first year of secondary school then moved on to twitter at around thirteen. Most kids when they get to their first year of secondary school to sign up for Facebook as they meet a lot of new people. These people are going on to social media networking sites unaware of what is okay to post and what is not okay to post, which isn’t right. Guidance is needed.
As children grow and reach out from Facebook they are still unaware of how much a simple post can affect their life. It sounds extreme yes, but it’s true. Every day on twitter you see people hiding behind fake profiles giving people abuse, thinking they are invincible and can say what they want because they won’t get caught. It’s far from the truth, they can be tracked and even arrested. I have seen things like this happen quite a lot myself, football fans on twitter giving players racist abuse after a bad performance, hoping it gets lots of retweets and people will laugh. Then you go back to their profile hours later and see that their account has been suspended, you then also find out a few days after that the police tracked their IP address and arrested them. These children are around 15 years old and do not understand how much it can affect their life until they find out the hard way. Getting arrested can lead to a criminal record, which significantly decreases your job prospects. Yes, all from a tweet.
Speaking of jobs, if you applied for a job and your potential employer looked through your twitter account to find out more about you and they saw you tweeting hate/abuse at someone, would they employ you? I highly doubt it. This is something that is happening a lot now with social media growing, there has even been a Barclays television advert explain how your social media is a representation of who you are. That is the complete truth.
My point is that social media education is needed inside schools so children learn about the dangers and also the positives. It isn’t all bad, you can build a career out of social media. Starting a twitter account can set up your life if you use it effectively and show you have the skills to successfully run a twitter account and gain business from it. With social media as big as it is and with it constantly growing, education is needed inside schools so children don’t potentially ruin their careers. Schools cannot ignore it anymore, it is simply too big to ignore. 99% of children inside schools are on social media yet have never had any education on it. It is also something that can easily be integrated within a lesson like ICT. Social media is something I feel deeply passionate about, so I would love to see children in schools being educated about it.