I found the topics of this week’s class to be quite interesting. We talked about how much power social media can have. It is crazy how far and how fast things can spread on the internet. It is also crazy to see how students are so dependent on their phones. During my internship I regularly had students ask to leave class so that they could make TikToks. This happened so often that I ended up making multiple assignments that required my students to actually make TikToks. My students even convinced me to download the app! One quote that I will always remember that a student said to me was “if TikTok isn’t taking over your life, you’re not trying hard enough”. I thought that this was quite funny, but it has a whole new meaning for me after this week’s class.
When I was in school, there were presentations for us on digital literacy, but we never really appreciated how important these things were to know. I almost think that teaching digital literacy is something that parents should be teaching their children as early as possible! I think that if a child has free access to the internet and can use it however they choose, they are more likely to pushback against learning digital literacy. I mean why would a kid who can do whatever they want before appreciating new rules? I think that it is on parents to teach their children how to regulate themselves without a phone or an iPad as well as how to create a positive digital identity for themselves.
During my internship, I did some “cyber sleuthing” of my own. My cooperating teacher ran an Instagram account for the school’s volleyball teams. Students would comment on these posts which led me to all of their accounts. Many of their accounts were public, but if they weren’t, they had their VSCO link in their bio. VSCO is something that was not mentioned in class, but I think needs to be considered. It is basically like Instagram with a few differences such as the fact that all accounts are public. Despite being completely public, VSCO also has a reputation to be somewhere that people post things that they wouldn’t want to be on their Instagram. On my student’s accounts, I saw a shocking number of photos that contained alcohol, drugs, partying, sexualized images of minors, and other incriminating behaviours.
I read a quote once that said: “A girl with a private Instagram and VSCO in her bio is like keeping the key under the mat”. Would you agree?