Another reason responsible social media use must be taught to students AND adults

In case you missed it, a 15-year-old student from Staten Island created a Facebook page called Close NYC Schools During Snow Emergencies expressing discontent over the DOE's decision to keep schools open Thursday. The high school student employed some smart strategies to help his page gain popularity. Namely sharing his page on the walls of elected officials. From there the likes started pouring in. The page went viral attracting nearly 30,000 "Likes" in about a day. Most of those who came to the page initially had no idea it was a high school student named Jeremy Duenas who was the man behind the page's curtain.

After a day of a blitz of media attention that included many local news outlets, the page creator had this to say to fans of the page:

Thank you everyone for all your outpouring support! From all my family and friends to all of YOU who don't even know me but are praising me anyway. I'm was just a kid from Staten Island and now I feel like I'm more than that.

Some situations this young man encountered included Duenas sharing how he felt about friending some of his page's members. He said this:

People have been asking me for my personal social media accounts and I am not prepared to give that out. People can find a way to use anything against you and I don't need that right now. Thank you for understanding!

He also had to take a strong hand with moderating skills working to get the adults to be better role models making this plea:

It's hard to keep up with everything that goes on on this page but when negativity is brought to my attention? For lack of a better term, that's a "no no". Keep it appropriate please.

This young man had great sense around how to engage page members. He shared interesting content, like this video from a fellow Staten Islander which instantly brought this young lady the attention of thousands of eyes, to which she shared:

Oh my god didn't realize so many people would see my video! Thanks everyone.

He also shared photographs of empty classrooms, like this one:

Having the spotlight on you and a platform for change is an incredible experience to go through for anyone. Anyone who knows how to start a Facebook page and has some social media savvy can do just that. If they do, are educators and parents confident that they have prepared them to do this safely and responsibly?

Lisa Nielsen writes for and speaks to audiences across the globe about learning innovatively and is frequently covered by local and national media for her views on “Passion (not data) Driven Learning,” "Thinking Outside the Ban" to harness the power of technology for learning, and using the power of social media to provide a voice to educators and students. Ms. Nielsen has worked for more than a decade in various capacities to support learning in real and innovative ways that will prepare students for success. In addition to her award-winning blog, The Innovative Educator, Ms. Nielsen’s writing is featured in places such as Huffington Post, Tech & Learning, ISTE Connects, ASCD Wholechild, MindShift, Leading & Learning, The Unplugged Mom, and is the author the book Teaching Generation Text.

Disclaimer: The information shared here is strictly that of the author and does not reflect the opinions or endorsement of her employer.

Lisa Nielsen (@InnovativeEdu) has worked as a public-school educator and administrator since 1997. She is a prolific writer best known for her award-winning blog, The Innovative Educator. Nielsen is the author of several books and her writing has been featured in media outlets such as The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and Tech & Learning.  

Disclaimer: The information shared here is strictly that of the author and does not reflect the opinions or endorsement of her employer.