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Navigating a Digital Life

People in the public eye are not the only ones that get held accountable for their choices, whether present or in the past. Parents today face the challenging job of helping their children navigate the pitfalls of growing up in a digital world. It can be difficult to help preteens and teens see past the ‘right now’ of daily life and understand that the consequences of their choices are amplified when broadcasted over a variety of tools online. Whether they are engaging through SnapChat, Instagram, Tumblr, a Google Doc, text, or even in an email, students need help understanding the permanence and the lack of control over the content they put out in the digital world. Have conversations with your students about what they share online. Most know not to give out personal information like addresses and phone numbers, but some may need guidance dealing with situations, such as when someone directs a cruel post at them or when friends start using language they wouldn’t use in front of others. Students today have a much larger digital footprint than ever before, one that is scrutinized increasingly more often (colleges, employers, banks, etc.). Thankfully, there are many resources to assist you with this journey. One is Common Sense Media. This advocacy group’s mission is to put tools and resources to aid this journey in the hands of students and those who care about them.