After reading Jan Hoffman’s, A Girl’s Nude Photo, and Altered Lives in the New York Times this weekend, I am determined to make sure that my graduate students are aware that this is something we need to address in school. It supports why we need to teach digital citizenship. Teens need to have the opportunity to talk this out and understand the consequences of their actions in today’s digital world.
This topic upsets me greatly. How do teens think this is a good idea? Why would anyone take a compromising picture of themselves and send it digitally to anyone? And why would the receiver make the decision to continue to pass it on? It baffles me. Am I old fashion? I don’t think so. In my day, which I don’t really think was that long ago, hickeys were given on the neck to show the world that you were in a relationship. I guess its a part of adolescence, a rite of passage or something. But, how do we help our students understand that an “electronic hickey” is not something you want to give or receive or forward?
It appears that we need to go back to the basics and have an open and honest conversation about respect – respect for yourself and respect for others. Our students deserve and need it. They need to take the lead in this conversation. What words, pictures and video are you taking and sending? What kind of digital trail are you leaving behind? Are you proud of it today? Will you be proud of it tomorrow? Would you like your parents to see this? Teachers? Neighbors? Grandparents? How would someone feel it they received this picture or video of their child, sibling, grandchild, relative, etc.? If you hesitate, the answer means don’t take it, don’t send it and don’t pass it on.
PS: Props to one of my graduate students @nhowley for being such a great (and patient) teacher! This is my first WordPress post with a picture!