Monday, July 1, 2013

Social Media Guru Bob Finch reminds parents to teach young people about "personal thought space"

Teachers and school administrators might be tempted to take the easy road by banning social media.

Here's a comment by Social Media expert and consultant, Bob Finch 

I'm not for "banning." The reasonable solution is to begin early in teaching children - as a part of what is 'safe' and 'not safe' - that social media is part of the 'how to handle strangers' rules. I'm sending Katie on a trip to Indiana to stay for week with my nephew. She's 10. The Delta agent I spoke with (for more than an hour) went into great detail about what Katie should wear, how she should handle strangers, what she should and should not talk about (regarding herself) and a host of other 'tips.' 

What we are really transmitting when we explain what 'improper touching' and other potential child abuses is a definition of 'personal space' and how it should be guarded from potential untrustworthy others. With social media being a broadcast medium, we need to instill in children (very early!) notions of personal 'thought space' or 'mind space' and how it should be guarded with equal prudence and diligence. 

Learn more at his Twitter account  @refinch

Let's spread this phrase "personal thought space" and use that phrase with parents.

Try it:  "Has anyone attempted to touch your personal thought space today?"

Parents often object if a paroled pedophile is found to live within two miles of their child's school.   Those same parents might not know the privacy setting on their child's twitter and facebook accounts...  their child could be sharing information with "friends" made over Facebook.
Bob Finch adds:

It really should encompass a new way of thought about teaching 

kids how to guard their privacy whether it is personal space or 

thought space. Rumors used to get passed from person to person verbally...

now there is an electronic trail. Rumors are now immortal.  

The old way was transient.

Perhaps the language needs to be more explicit?  Perhaps the  following:

As a high school teacher, my role is to intrude into a student's thought space... but it's so much more successful if the student is chasing the idea rather than trying to block the door.  This campaign that Bob Finch is advocating is more about strangers and educators who are going beyond the limits of their professional duty.

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