When our kids were younger, I posted the following warning near their computer and near where they kept their phone. It was a reminder that they need to be mindful when they interact with all digital media, but especially social media. My wife and I also used this as a conversation starter if we saw a questionable SM interaction. The last dot point is probably the most effective, as it moves one out of their own environment and causes one to consider effects through the lense of an authority figure.
Did it work? Well, we didn’t have a control group of other kids we parented but didn’t provide social media guidance, so I guess we will never know for sure. With that said, we did have many meaningful conversations about SM mindfulness and the impact of dopamine activation activities. So, hopefully, it helped.
Before sending / posting an email, blog, facebook post, tweet or any other digital media, answer the following questions:
Do my words break any laws?
Is my behavior consistent with our faith?
Are my actions the right thing to do? (when no one is looking)
Do my actions represent reasonable judgment?
Would I feel confident I could explain my words if they were made public? (For example, to my school principal, boss, or parents?)
Remember, using digital media creates a PERMANENT record. What you write today
may be discovered for the rest of your life.
In the Date to Speak book by Nossel, this would fall under her 1st principle, Be Conscientious with Language.