New social media-free phone perfect for parents concerned by kids’ smartphone use

Hold the (smart)phone. One of the number one questions I get from parents and educators is: when is the appropriate time to get my child their own smartphone? Given the average grade in the US that kids get their OWN smartphones, I’m going to say – not then. With that, I do understand the need for phones at this point in our lives – emergency situations, and over all contact with our kids (critics are quick to add that, “we were just fine without them when we grew up,” but let’s be honest – it’s great that we now have a way to quickly and easily get in touch with our kids or vice versa, and it’s kind if nice). That being said, the NEED for smartphones – connectivity to the internet, any and all apps, and social media isn’t really a necessity in most instances. That being said, we’ve had a solution all along – albeit not the coolest option – the flip phone. However, it looks like in April, you can be the parent who ups this game, with the brand new Light Phone 2, which serves the same purpose, but looks WAY cooler. There are already 3,000 orders placed by parents and even adults who want this as an alternative to be connected, but not entirely connected. I’ll be interested to see if these fly off the shelf in April…seems like a pretty awesome alternative to me.

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Porn Is Not the Worst Thing on – Anastasia Basil – Medium

Happy Monday! Prepping for our 3rd Nor’Easter in 2 weeks here in MA, I’m hoping everyone is safe. ☃️
A little brain food for you on this Monday, followed by a great post to come later. Many elementary school students are using the app, a place where you can share videos of yourself lip syncing different songs and share with friends – and then some. I read a post this morning which has got some traction, and I think the title of the article speaks for itself: “Porn is not the worst thing on” I love her perspective as a mom of a 10-year-old begging for this app, along with the overall attention she pays to the overexposure that happens on social media – regardless of privacy settings. I do think a few of her points are a little extreme, but overall what we need to remember is that ANY social media and app that allows our kids to connect with others (not just has the potential for overexposure, inappropriate content and contact with strangers. For parents, we have to do as much as we can to understand these apps they’re using – not proficiently – but enough to equip ourselves with enough information to make the BEST decision for our families. Here’s a thought-provoking quote from the article to start off your Monday:
“ looks innocent — just kids making music videos, and it is that, but more so it’s this: user uploaded content by millions of people who can also live stream, which is how I first encountered porn on A very helpful naked man live-streamed his live stream (if you know what I mean).
Kids are going to see it eventually, right? Might as well let them see it now. Might as well get them drunk while we’re at it. And high.”

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Sexting increasing among teenagers, new research finds

New research has come out around teen sexting, which I think is interesting to note, but nothing necessarily surprising. If nothing else, it reminds us how important the PREVENTATIVE conversation is around privacy, respect and long-term impacts of these pictures and videos, regardless of how common it may be.
“The numbers tell the story: Sexting has been increasing over the last eight years, is more common in older teens, and both boys and girls are engaging in the practice.

Most teens are sexting on their personal devices, researchers found.

“We weren’t surprise by the findings because the exploration of sexuality is a normal part of adolescence,” Madigan said. “Smartphone ownership among teens is near universal. So the fact that those two worlds are colliding did not surprise us.”

As shocking as it may be to adults that so teens are sexting, it’s not the part of the study that may cause the most concern.

Twelve percent of teens have forwarded a sext without consent – sending sexually explicit material on without asking permission of those involved, and 8.4 percent had one of their own sexts forwarded without their consent.”

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This simple solution to smartphone addiction is now used in over 600 U.S. schools

The past two weeks have been insanely busy and wonderful at the same time, with 20+ presentations at places like Tabor Academy Old Rochester Regional High School Waltham Public Schools Princeton Independent School District Wellesley Middle School. Looking back on these past two weeks has me feeling grateful for the opportunists and awesome people, as well as enlightened and excited by all I’ve learned and gained.
It seems like with every presentation, I’m spending more and more time discussing and answering questions about tech addiction and mindfulness (or lack thereof). I’m having daily conversations with students and administrations about how we can do our best to curb this issue. Not take away technology, rather be more thoughtful for our health, education and overall sociability. More than ever, schools are now trying to come up with ways to make sure they’re not adding to this issue, although there never seems to be a one-size-fits-all answer. This is a great article about a device that I bet will gain a lot of traction over the next year especially in schools, although it’s being employed at things like concerts and other social events – forcing us to all unplug for a while. Do you wish your school had this? Do you wish you had this in your house?
I’ll leave you with this thought: When talking to a group of 300+ 7th graders about this topic, I asked them to raise their hands if they thought devices were used too much in their homes. 90% of these kids (whose parents typically think their kids are addicted), raised their hands.

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Snapchat is going to let you share Stories on Twitter and Facebook, in hopes of sparking new growth

As reported on CNBC,#Snapchat is about to let users share stores to Facebook and Twitter. While these stories only last 24 hours on Snapchat, this new release will allow them to live longer and be seen by those who don’t have Snapchat. I kinda like this new feature – do you?

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