On Thursday evening, Baymonte parents heard from cyber education expert Lori Getz on how to stay safe and healthy in the digital world. On Friday morning, she tailored two presentations to our 5th & 6th and 7th & 8th grade students. Her presentations included discussion about Internet safety, social media, and mitigating health risks associated with technology use. Thank you to all who came and participated in these sessions. As an observer, I was impressed by the many thoughtful questions from both parents and students. If you missed the sessions, many resources are available at Lori’s website: https://lorigetz.com.
Some key ideas:
- If we use social media or purchase things online, there is already quite a bit of information about us in the “Internet vortex.” Be aware of the degree to which public posts or private conversations attract attention from people who would otherwise not have any reason to search for information about us.
- Understand that posts, comments, likes, and other forms of social media are ways that we share our thoughts, feelings, special moments, and even our bodies (through pictures). While sharing can be a very positive way to interact with friends and family, be aware that sharing also means losing control of our thoughts, feelings, or pictures. We need to be thoughtful about the groups we share with and about our motivations for sharing.
- We should be aware of the risks technology may pose to our health. Some risks are well documented: ergonomically, students should not spend more than an hour at a time on a device; devices should be off or in airplane mode—and ideally out of the bedroom—to ensure proper sleep at night. Other risks are still theoretical; for example, the long-term effects of exposure to EMF ionization are not well understood yet. We can mitigate risk by using technology when we need it and putting it away when we don’t.
- Finally, a balanced, common-sense approach to setting limits helps us take control of our own technology use. We need to make sure we take time to rest, play, enjoy nature, worship, spend time with family and friends, and engage in meaningful conversations (in which we are not distracted by devices). If those activities come first, technology use is less likely to be disruptive and more likely to add value and enjoyment to our lives.
We appreciate Lori coming to share her insight, and look forward to having her back in the future!