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Chief Technology Mommy: Working relentlessly to keep children & teens safe on the Internet. No high-level technical jargon and No Excuses!

Archive for the tag “Facebook”

A young girls’ self-esteem is directly related to her online behavior – Keeping children safe on the Internet

It is 100% clear that a girl’s self-esteem is directly related to her online behavior.

As I travel the world speaking with parents about Internet Safety, they tend to overlook the “non- technical” piece to the equation. Many wonder why their daughters are posting naked photos of themselves, sharing photos where they are drinking (underage) alcohol, using inappropriate language, dressing provocatively, and taking chances with their lives by hooking up with men they meet online.

Before you spend money on Internet tracking tools or the latest software, I want to share 10 practical “non” technical” tips for keeping your child safe on the Internet.

At the age of 11, my daughter was 5’7”, wore a size 10-shoe, and rocked sister locs. She came home crying and told me that she didn’t like being taller than everyone else. The pain she felt took me back to my childhood where people would tell me I was “cute” to be so dark and how that comment made me feel ugly and awkward. Many of the horrible life decisions I made was based on trying to be good enough, and it was not until college that I let it go and started truly loving myself. The moment my daughter told me how she felt, I knew that she did not have to wait until college to start loving herself, and I was the person who could help her. Unfortunately as adults we are still holding on to some lie someone told us about ourselves, that we took as truth and unconsciously passed that lack of self-esteem and self-love onto our daughters and other young girls in our lives.

Our young girls are watching us, they are listening to us, they mimic us, and they are taking their cues from us. We are their movie…is your child watching a love story, a drama, or horror movie? When they hear us putting ourselves down, they are not analyzing us for self-esteem issues, they start wondering if they are good enough, and often times seek the answers and validation through their online behavior.

My daughter laughs at how I constantly tell her, “Your mommy is absolutely beautiful and fabulous.” She laughs, but I notice her confidence when she walks into a room, or she will say, “Mommy, I look just like you don’t I?” What impact would it have on her if I were still walking around complaining my skin color?

During my workshops with young girls it is sometimes hard to get them to say something good about themselves as they believe someone will think they are conceited. I call it celebrating their uniqueness, and by the end of the day they have written a long list of things they love about themselves in their “Always Believe” Journal. With that boost in self-esteem they talk about the different choices they would make on and off line. They are more apt to think about the consequences of their online behavior. A few girls talked about how their actions could keep them from being admitted to college, getting a job, or simply tarnish their reputations. This change comes in one afternoon, so think of the power you have over a lifetime.

Bottom-line: Girls who truly love and believe in themselves will think about the consequences of their online behavior and make different choices. They feel they have a future, they believe they can reach their goals, they don’t need other people to validate them, and they aren’t looking for a man to complete them.

10 Practical “non technical” tips for keeping your child safe on the Internet
1.Make sure your comments about yourself are loving and kind.
2.Teach people how to treat you and your daughter will do the same.
3.Foster open communication about self-love and self-worth.
4.Encourage your daughter to discuss her dreams and goals.
5.Encourage your daughter to celebrate her uniqueness and discuss ways her being different is an advantage. Example: My daughter’s height has helped her to become a volleyball star! She now wishes she were taller.
6.Think about what your daughter sees and hears when you interact with her dad or any other man.
7.Give her a compliment.
8.Get her involved in extra-curricular activities.
9. Tell her your stories about what you experienced as a teen, let her know you too made mistakes.
10.Make sure she feels safe enough to speak with you or some other trusted adult about anything.

I know this is not the “normal” type of advice you see on Internet Safety, but I am speaking from experience. I am speaking from the heart as a mommy and technology expert. We can boycott Facebook, throw all the computers out of the window, lobby on Capitol Hill, but none of that works better than good old fashion communication. No Excuses!

To contact Marlin for speaking engagements : email: marlin@soulsuppportonline.com or call 313-420-0591. To get updated Internet Safety Tips delievered to your mailbox go to marlinpage.com and sign up for the blog or just hang out!

Video: Quick tips on keeping children and teens safe on the Internet – Do you know who your child is “friending?”

Quick and “to the point” True Stories, Real Life Strategies and Tips to Keep children and Teens Safe on the Internet.”

Topic: Teens being lured to “friend” people with fake profiles. In this video I recap the story and provide “real life” strategies on keeping your children safe on the Internet.

Teen Posts Girls’ Facebook Photos as Porn – Keeping Children and Teens Safe on the Internet

A 19-year old Pennsylvania man was arrested and charged with using the Facebook photos of four teenage girls to create pornography, which he re-posted online. According to police Neil Geckle admitted to creating a Facebook page under the name “Matt Hemcher.”

Three of the girls go to Radnor High School.  Geickle graduated from Radnor last year, but was not friends with  the alleged victims.

Bottom-line tip from Chief Technology Mommy:

I recently had a conversation with a mom who stated that her 13- year old daughter has 400+ friends on Facebook.  Her daughter “friends,” all those that attend her school, church etc. regardless of their interaction on a daily basis.

It’s important to openly communicate with our children and set expectations around their behavior on social media outlets.  Someone going to the same school, sharing the same birthday, attending the same church, etc., is not a reason to friend someone on Facebook and allow them full access to your life.

My definition of acceptable social media friends (for my daughter):  The Facebook friend has to have been to our home or I must know their parents, otherwise she brings it to my attention and we decide together if they should be accepted as a Facebook friend.

Working to keep our children and teens safe on the Internet!

Click link for full story and video:

http://abclocal.go.com/wpvi/story?section=news/local&id=8637633

Threats made on Facebook ends with the death of three teens. Keeping our children and teens safe online – Chief Technology Mommy

When I was in 6th grade, I had my first physical altercation with a classmate.  We were both sent to the principal’s office, our parent’s were called, I was put on punishment,  we both apologized and went on our way.  When the fight was over, it was over.  Unfortunately those days are over.

An argument that began at school, made it’s way to Facebook with threats, and ultimately lead to the death of three teens.  As the teens sat in their car, a man approached them and fired 10 to 12 shots into the car at point-blank range.  Joshua Soto, 14 and Javier Orlandi, 16 were pronounced dead within a half-hour.  Dante Lugo, 14 died the next night.  The alleged shooter is the 30-year old stepfather of the other teens involved in the argument.

I have no idea who started the argument or what it was about, but I am almost 100% sure someone saw the threatening posts on Facebook.  As the rational adults (evidently the 30-year old stepfather was not,)  it’s up to us to monitor our children’s social media activities and report inappropriate conversations.  In this day and age we cannot take threats lightly or shrug them off as “kids being kids.”

Here are a few things we can do to keep our children safe on the Internet:

1.  Don’t just browse, but thoroughly read through your child’s posts.  Make a note of who they are speaking with and pay special attention to the tone of the conversation.

2.  If you see a threatening or inappropriate posts that involves any child, ask your child about it and report it if necessary.

3.  Encourage your child to tell you if they feel threatened at school or on the Internet, and bring it to the attention of the school, the other parents, or the authorities.

4.   Work to make sure young men feel comfortable telling someone about threats made against them.  I’ve heard grown men tell little boys to “man up,” but when it comes to threats they should understand that their stance has nothing to do with their manhood, but everything to do with saving their lives.

Let’s work together to keep our children safe on the Internet.

Click below to read the full story:

http://articles.philly.com/2012-01-12/news/30620335_1_car-and-three-police-teenagers


Teenage girls fight on facebook ends with the shooting of a 2-year old. Keeping children and teens safe on the Internet. Chief Technology Mommy

What started as a fight between teenage girls in Philadelphia wound up a shooting that left two children, their grandmother and another man shot.  Two-year old Aisha Owens was shot in the hip and stomach.  Allegedly the fight stemmed from an unruly Facebook posting over the summer that spilled over to the school year.

There are so many things that went wrong here and we all could make judgments (I know I did.)  The judgments and finger pointing won’t change the series of events, but we definitely can learn a few things from the shooting incident.

Bottom-line:   Adults must monitor their children’s social media interactions.  There are parents who will not monitor for a number of reasons, but this is not about them.  I can’t make any adult stay connected to their child’s online activities, however I am accountable for what I do.

Things to consider:

  • Do you know who your child’s friends are on facebook?  Have you met them face-to-face?  Do you know their parents? If your child does not interact with them offline, they probably should not interact with them online.
  • Speak with your child about the rules of “friending,” and peer pressure.  For example:  Just because someone attends the same school, does not automatically qualify them as an online friend.
  • Most importantly have a conversation with your child about your expectations and guidelines as it relates to social media.

Let’s all work together to keep our children safe on the Internet!

Click the link to see the video story:

http://www.myfoxphilly.com/dpp/news/local_news/South_Philadelphia_Quadruple_Shooting_092811

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