Protecting our children against … social media

Posted September 19, 2018 at 8:44 am

The times have certainly changed over the course of recent years and with the ever growing love for technology, situations are now coming to light and can be considered a threat to younger people, including students in high school and middle school.

Kentucky State Police Trooper Jonathan Biven, Director at Trooper Island, has recently spear headed a program designed to inform people about the dangers of social media and other programs that are readily available on phones and tablets across the country.

Last Thursday, Biven was a guest speaker at Clinton County High School where he provided four presentations, once to each of the four grade classes, about social media.

“There have been some issues here at school and the administrators have asked me to come in and present the issues of social media,” Biven said. “As you know, Facebook alone, as the population is the third biggest country in the world. Some of these kids don’t realize they can be held accountable for the actions they do. Whether it’s sending a message or receiving a picture. If you have a photo on your phone of a minor you can be charged with possession.”

Biven said Thursday’s presentation was more of an educational presentation to let the students know they can be held accountable.

“Effective today, it’s over,” Biven said. “They can’t use the excuse of they ‘didn’t know’ anymore. Prisoners get two hours of rec time each day and our kids, who are free, are spending an hour, on average, outside. That’s it! They are spending more time on these devises. We are sending out 16 million text messages every minute. Nine hundred logins to Facebook every minute. It’s become part of our culture and unfortunately we haven’t adapted to that. It’s become totally our lifeline. If we are going to have that lifeline, we need to learn how to properly use it.”

One of the main reasons for doing the program is to inform parents of the social media dangers of what their kids might be doing with their phone or tablet.

“There are apps that kids can hide things from their parents,” Biven said. “We as parents may not know that these apps are out here. We did this program for parents a couple weeks ago and we only had eight people show up.”

One of the biggest concerns is Biven feels parents don’t believe it’s a problem right now.

“This is a New York problem, or this is a Chicago problem … This is a Lexington/Louisville problem. I like to refer it as the great wall of Clinton County. Every county feels like they have a great wall. We’ve had some instances here,” Biven said. “I did four classes, but at the end of the day if you can reach one person it’s a success. If you can keep that one child from harming themselves or another student then that’s huge. If you can get one then maybe you can get two. I applaud the schools for having me out because they had to take time out of their day and they recognize the problem and they decided to be pro active.”

Here are a list of apps teenagers are using that parents should be aware of:

• Bebo

• Chatroulette

• Draw Something

• Facebook

• Facetime

• Flickr

• Google Hangouts

• Google Plus

• Instagram

• Kik

• Linked In

• MeetMe

• Myspace

• Ning

• Omegle

• Pinterest

• Skype

• Snap Chat

• Storify

• StumbleUpon

• Tagged

• Twitter

• Vine

• Words with Friends

• Yahoo Chat

• YouTube

In 2017, information was gathered on some of the more popular apps across the country and some of the numbers are extremely high as far as the number of users every sixty seconds.

Facebook alone has 900,000 logins per minute, 342,000 apps downloaded from the Google Play app store every minute, 46,200 photos uploaded to Instagram every minute and 452,000 Tweets sent every sixty seconds.

Other apps include Snap Chat with 1.8 million snaps created every minute, and 156 million emails sent.

Biven said he would like to host another presentation on social media in January. Details on that presentation are still being discussed and is yet to be scheduled.


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