A social worker has told pupils to avoid “toxic social media” to help them feel safe online.
A teacher has warned of “vicious social media bullies” who are using their power to try to “predict your future”.
“It’s time for us to start thinking about how to take care of ourselves online,” social worker Lorna Stacey told pupils in a letter to the school’s pupils.
“There’s a lot of toxic social media bullying, and a lot about being a victim of cyber bullying,” she said.
“And we’re not immune to it.”
Stacey, a social worker from the Department of Social Work at the University of Manchester, told pupils they should be cautious when using the internet, and that “the only way to be safe online is to stay away from toxic social networking”.
The letter said social media should be used for “educational purposes” and that pupils should be aware that “there’s no such thing as safe social networking on the internet”.
It said there was no “one-size-fits-all” approach for social networking, but recommended pupils “try to be more thoughtful” about how they use it.
In a blog post, Stacey said it was “not uncommon” for social media to have “misleading, false or misleading information”, and that it was important to remember that the “internet is an extension of our everyday lives”.
She said it “was important to recognise that our children are also social, and we all need to be mindful of our own behaviour”.
In an interview with the BBC, she said that social media was a “hugely valuable” tool for learning.
She said that although she did not believe that bullying online was inevitable, “it does make people feel vulnerable, and it does affect people’s mental health”.
“The best thing we can do for our kids is to try and be more mindful and not use so much as a single word to communicate,” she added.
“Don’t post a selfie on Facebook and not say, ‘It’s ok for me to say I’m a bully because I’m on Facebook’ or ‘I’m OK for you to say that because I’ve got a family’,” she said, adding that “I think it’s important to look at the whole spectrum”.’
Bullying and victim blaming’ The letter comes as a number of prominent figures, including former UK prime minister David Cameron, are pushing for a more nuanced approach to social media.
They include former Education Secretary Nicky Morgan and Labour MP Nadine Dorries, who was suspended by the party for calling for students to be “treated as adults”.
“You know, the worst thing I can think of is the term victim blaming,” Dorries told the BBC.
“You see it all the time: ‘You’re a victim, you’re a bad person, you need to apologise for that.
But how can we stop these people who are really trying to bully people?'”
The letter says that “it is in your best interests to not be vulnerable to toxic social networks”.
“For a child to feel safe, to feel accepted, to be supported, they have to feel they are not alone,” it says.
“Bullying is a form of victim blaming.”
Dorries said the issue was “absolutely” being addressed by government.
BBC Trending – Child bullying: The truth and the myth – The Guardian’s Trending section looks at how the internet is changing the world. “
I do think that the best thing is to talk to them about it.”
BBC Trending – Child bullying: The truth and the myth – The Guardian’s Trending section looks at how the internet is changing the world.
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