Posts Tagged ‘Facebook’

The back to school Golden Rule…

Friday, August 24th, 2012

The back to school Golden Rule…
It’s that time of year again, the first day of school. For some it’s a new school, a new grade, new face, new friends… for all, it’s a new beginning. We all know the Golden Rule, “Treat others the way you want to be treated.” The truth is, most people fail to apply this rule.

I’ve just returned from the National Bullying Prevention Summit in Washington D.C. and have so much to share with you. In the technology era, bullying comes in all forms; it’s not necessarily the big kid taking your lunch money anymore. It comes by way of text, email, social media, far beyond the school’s jurisdiction. This sweeping epidemic that our children are dealing with every day has a new face: cyberbullying.

It’s important that teachers, parents and students are provided with the essential tools they need to stand up to this new threat. I will help provide you with these necessary tools.

The first day of school isn’t just a new beginning for students, but also for principals, teachers and parents.
Every day, each of us has the chance to turn a sometimes scary place into a safe and comfortable learning environment for our children. It’s amazing how much you can learn by simply opening your eyes to what is going on around you.

Keeping an open relationship with our children means we have to be ready to accept the reality of who they are and what they’re feeling. Really, I mean try accepting their point of view.

Communication is an ongoing process, rather than a one-time conversation. If you want your kids to talk to you, be ready to listen. This is probably the most important skill a parent can have at their disposal. We can strive to teach our children from right and wrong, and in return we can also learn by observing and listening.

Talk openly with your child about healthy relationships. Everyone is always going to be faced with both good and bad relationships; always take the good with the bad. Good relationships are doors to endless opportunity if they’re used properly. Bad relationships don’t have to be all bad, they might provide more obstacles, but sometimes an alternate course is needed to see things in a different light. Be prepared and ready to sit down and talk with your children about the good and bad relationships that they’re facing on a daily basis.

Here are some great back to school survival tips for your kids:
1. Smile! A simple smile can go a long way; it can change someone from having a bad day into a good one.
2. Keep your opinions to yourself! After all, they’re YOURS for a reason.
3. We all make mistakes! You will always learn from your mistakes, take your newfound knowledge and use it in a positive manner.

And let’s not forget when talking to our children to speak with L.O.V.E:
L – Listen. Talking with your children doesn’t always mean you have to be the only one talking.
O – Open. Let your children know that no topic is ever off limits.
V – Voice. It’s important to have a voice on both ends.
E – Enjoy, let your talk time be a happy time, and always remember that before you know it, they will be off to college or pursuing their dreams.
Join me this Tuesday, 8/28 for a live chat on Facebook. We’ll be covering cyber safety, standing up to bullying, educating our schools, students and more! You have a question? I have the answers! I look forward to connecting!

Shawn is a cyberbullying prevention expert and your go-to cyber safety advocate. Shawn’s the author of the bestselling book, The Parent’s Guide to Texting, Facebook and Social Media: Understanding the Benefits and Dangers of Parenting in a Digital World, the Founder of the Cyber Safety Academy, the Great American NO BULL Challenge and the Teen Video Awards. Shawn is also the CEO of a national insurance firm, where she provides risk management for companies across the country.

Sextortion: The Newest Internet Ugly

Thursday, August 11th, 2011

What I’m referring to is sextortion:  sexual blackmail of children and teens online just like you.  Because most teens are extremely trusting, especially when it comes to social networks, you’re an easy target, which makes this an even more difficult trend to stomach.                                                                                                                        

Here’s how sextortion works: Online predators, ex-boyfriends or frenemies get a hold of inappropriate photos or videos of you by way of email, text, hacking, social networks or chatrooms, and then threaten complete humiliation if they don’t get what they ask you for.  These criminals threaten they will post or send the inappropriate content to your parents, friends, family, teachers, coaches or bosses, make demands for money, or even threats of physical harm.  SCARRY!

Sextortionists are experts at getting what they want, knowing that teens will be too afraid to tell anyone what’s happening to them, especially their parents, leaving them in the driver’s seat to get exactly they want. Children and teenagers just like you can quickly become trapped in a silent cycle of online sexual exploitation, every parent’s worst nightmare.

From experience, we already know that every teen is vulnerable to the online “ugly” side of the Internet, which comes with being constantly connected.  As an adult and a cyber safety expert, it’s my responsibility to speak openly about what to do should you ever become a victim.

It’s important for you to:

  • Get informed, ignorance isn’t bliss. Understand what sextortion is, and promise yourself that you’ll go to your parents should you ever become the target of a sextortionist – NO MATTER WHAT.
  • Set all security and privacy settings to private & set alerts. Keep all of your profiles on social networks private, even after you turn 18-years-old.  Creeps never get tired of trying, especially when they can hide behind a fake profile on a social network.  Set a Google Alerts for your name, which will let you know the instant something terrible or embarrassing tagged with your name gets posted online.
  • Messages, photos or videos you send by text are never private. They have the ability to be saved, edited, forwarded, posted onto Facebook or uploaded to YouTube in the matter of seconds, where they sit perfectly poised for Sextortionists to use against you.
  • Don’t trust people online you don’t know! Never trust anyone online you don’t know in real life, and to always report any contact you’ve received from strangers to a trusted adult.
  • Don’t text anything you wouldn’t want your mom to see. I often hear stories from teenage girls about the sexy photo that was sent without a single thought of where it might end up.  And sure enough, the photo was inevitably forwarded out to friends, strangers, predators, parents and teachers for people to pass judgment on and potentially use against them.
  • Be aware. Criminals, online predators and backstabbers can use your private pictures against you.  If you think your sext is only going to be seen by your intended recipient, think again. Once it’s out there, it’s out there for everyone to see.  It’s no fun to be embarrassed or belittled, threatened, or coerced online – especially by those you know, let alone those you don’t.


It’s a fact that social media has become the focal point of your life, and it’s time that we adults face it.  Sextortion is not only the newest Internet “ugly,” but it’s a trend that requires all teens to take seriously, and become aware that Sextortionist experts are out they looking for teens and young children to prey on.

Remember, promises get broken, boyfriends become ex’s, and friends become frenemies. Unfortunately it’s the reality that you live in today, so be careful with who you trust, and don’t record or send anything that can come back to bite you.

Facebook: A Teens Perspective

Friday, May 27th, 2011

Hey, if your reading this my name is Joel, unlike other teenagers that are my age I choose to not have a Facebook. Everyone my age at one point has been asked the inevitable question, “Can you add me as a friend?” Status, friendship, the family gossip mill and wanting to share our thoughts constantly, what is it that makes social networking websites like Twitter and Facebook so appealing to teenagers?

To find out why teenagers find Facebook and other social networking sites are so popular, I went straight to the source and interviewed some of my friends at my high school.

I go to a relatively small private Christian school in Kissimmee, Florida called Life Christian Academy. With around one hundred and twenty kids in my high school, the social scene is pretty much the same as any other high school, rumors, drama, the usual. So to find out better why teens use social networking I put on my best Bryan Williams impersonation and headed off. In total, I interviewed twelve people, each one of them of a different background, status and age.

One of the funniest interviews of my day was when I got to talk to a girl who is a lot like a tom-boy, always the first one to jump into a dare. She was very blunt and explained that Facebook was her “bad habit.”  I thought it was really interesting when she said, “Its weird how you can get sucked up in it, no matter if you’re a gothic kid or a kid from the hood.”

Another fun interview was with one of my guy friends; he is loud, to say the least. Throughout my questioning he kept asking me why I didn’t have a Facebook, and kept trying to turn the questions back to me. But one of the questions I got him to answer was if he knew anyone that had been negatively affected using the social network giant. With a funny expression on his face, he answered, “Well if you really wanna know, I knew this girl named Cindy… last year she made a fake profile to find out about a guy that she had a crush on so she could talk to him. Ultimately, a friend of Cindy spoke about what she was doing behind her back. Eventually the boy found out and now makes fun of her with his friends whenever she’s near.

Another girl that I interviewed told me that she is using Facebook, to talk to her friends. I asked her if her parents had a Facebook and she told me that they do, but she blocks them on her page. As I started to think about what she said, suddenly it hit me. I was noticing a pattern.                                      

Ultimately I came to this conclusion, for teenagers we feel the need to express ourselves. We feel that we are not heard so we turn to the Internet and other outlets of expression. Any way that we can let our voice out to the world, to have others know how we feel at a certain instance in life we’ll do it, and that is why it is so easy to get in trouble using social networks.

I’ve noticed that some of the ways teenagers can get in trouble using these websites is when they start to gossip or let their negative emotions out in comments or blogs. Some of their emotions negatively impact people. Like the saying goes, what you post on the Internet is there to stay; you already posted them and cannot take them back. Teens get in trouble when they post on their wall or “tweet” when they are trying to “vent” out their emotions. Sure you can delete a post afterwards, but once you press send, you can not take back what your friends have seen.

What’s worse is when job recruiters look at your page or family members see it because once something is said, your entire reputation or perception of you can be tarnished in an instant. As teenagers, we don’t think about the future.  We mostly just think about the “now”. We forget how posting certain things can affect us down the road, and need to be reminded – often.

Another way that teenagers get in trouble is when they start to obsess over their profile and it gets in the way of normal interaction. An example of this are some of my friends, everyday at lunch my two best friends let nothing get in the way of checking up their Facebook. I watch them at lunch and instead of actual talking they prefer updating their status or tweeting about their day. So to put it simply, when social networking or texting takes up all of your time and distracts you from daily tasks like studying for a big exam, or from time with the family, you know you have a problem. As with everything, we need to keep it in moderation.

So what is the best way to stay out of trouble when networking online? There’s the option to not to have a Facebook at all, but we know that that’s just too unrealistic for teens in our digital age…

 -Joel Rodriguez, Age 16  Intern Writer for Shawn Edgington

Today is National Cyber Safety Awareness Day!

Tuesday, May 17th, 2011

Has your child ever been the victim of cyberbullying? If not, the odds are pretty high that one day he or she will be. The sad fact is 50% of teens admit to being bullied online or by text message.

Today’s youth are falling victim to the perils of social media and cell phone messaging. And most parents are WITHOUT the tools to help their kids. Are you one of them?

Introducing The Parent’s Guide to Texting, Facebook, and Social Media: Understanding the Benefits and Dangers of Parenting in a Digital World by Shawn Marie Edgington. All royalties from today’s sales of this book will be donated to the Megan Meier Foundation to protect children from cyberbullying as well as great cyber safety bonus gifts with today’s $10.00 purchase on Amazon!

The author, Shawn Marie Edgington, is America’s leading “Texpert” and cyberbullying prevention expert. Shawn is on a mission to help protect our kids against the dangers that exist on the wild, wild web, and wants every parent to know that no child is immune. As Dr. Oz’s new Sharecare.com expert, she plans to provide her expertise to help both parents and teens get the advice they need.

Cyberbullying is a REAL threat to teens. Educate yourself and protect your children from online predators! GET THE BOOK TODAY: http://theparentsguidebook.com/

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Shawn Marie Edgington is America’s leading Texpert, a cyberbullying prevention expert and your go-to cyber safety mom.  Shawn’s the author of Read Between the Lines: A Humorous Guide to Texting with Simplicity and Style, and the new book The Parent’s Guide to Texting, Facebook and Social Media, the creator of the One-Click Safety Series and the founder of The Social Media Academy.  She’s the CEO of a national insurance firm, where she provides risk management to clients across the country.

After a horrible, personal experience she had with her 16-year-old daughter being threatened by text and on Facebook, Shawn has made it her mission to show parents how to take the steps necessary to prevent their child’s social and mobile networking from turning into every parent’s one-click nightmare.

Shawn provided her expert advice in the upcoming documentary Submit: The Virtual Reality of Cyberbullying, on Fox Business, View from the Bay, KRON 4 News, The San Francisco Chronicle, CBS Radio, American Cheerleader Magazine, CNN Radio, NPR, and various media outlets across the country.

Meet Shawn or learn more about her new book and to get your free parent resources at: www.shawnedgington.com

New Review at BookReview.com For The Parents Guide!!

Friday, May 6th, 2011

The Parent’s Guide just got reviewed by BookReview.com and received and EXCELLENT Rating by Liz Dederich!

Reviewed by: Liz Dederich

The Parent’s Guide to Texting, Facebook, and Social Media: Understanding the Benefits and Dangers of Parenting in a Digital World is a terrifying book. I say terrifying because it very clearly illustrates the dangers our children are facing now with the ease of access to the internet. I am old enough to remember the days of having to put the hand set of the corded phone into the cradle attached to the computer, walk away to have dinner, take a bath, read the newspaper and come back to find I’m still not quite online. Now everything is instant. Hand held gaming systems, smart phones and even television satellite packages connect without even the push of a button.


Shawn Marie Edgington’s book is indeed terrifying but not alarmist. She knows her stuff and she knows that only a few worst case scenarios are needed to rally parents into learning the essentiala all parents need to know…now. Her book contains sound parenting techniques in the digital age, such as knowing your children’s friends on Facebook, their e-mail lists and text conversations. There is a myriad of information on driving and texting, learning the language of texting and Facebooking and protecting our children’s innocence while navigating in this ultra modern world. I was concerned that by the time I finished Ms. Edgington’s book that the technology she discusses would be outdated. I am pleased to report that I feel very much in front of the learning curve. I know this will be a frequent read in my home not only by me but also my children as they become old enough to start using this technology.

Ms. Edgington has carefully researched her material and created an important guide that should be mandatory reading for all parents everywhere. Her credo truly is, “Knowledge is power” and I appreciate her sharing all her knowledge with us. By the time I absorbed her knowledge, I no longer found myself terrified!

Get it on Amazon now for $10.17\


Facebook Plays a Major Role in Egyptian Protests

Monday, January 31st, 2011

Facebook is proving to be an asset in times of political unrest and mayhem for the thousands of Egyptians who have taken their battle to the streets last week in hopes to de-throne their 30-year-old government. 

A Facebook page created by an anonymous activist has played a major role in the country’s protests, rallying thousands to Egyptian’s to rise up and fight against their President, Hosni Mubarak who is said to use torture against its people to stay in power.

The Egyptian government has repeatedly shut down access to the Internet over the past week, but the Facebook page created by an anonymous activist, “We are all Khaled Said” continues to stay active with over 36,500 fans as of January 31st, 2011   “We were tortured, humiliated and lived in injustice & poverty for 30 years despite our enormous resources” , and “Nothing justifies the continuation of this dictator” the activist wrote on the page’s wall earlier today.

According to the Facebook page, Khaled Said, a 28-year-old Egyptian from the coastal city of Alexandria, Egypt, was tortured to death at the hands of two police officers. Several eye witnesses described how Khalid was taken by the two policemen into the entrance of a residential building where he was brutally punched and kicked. The two policemen banged his head against the wall, the staircase and the entrance steps. Despite his calls for mercy and asking them why they are doing this to him, they continued their torture until he died according to many eye witnesses.

Khaled has become the symbol for many Egyptians who dream to see their country free of brutality, torture and ill treatment. Many young Egyptians are now fed up with the inhuman treatment they face on a daily basis in streets, police stations and everywhere. Egyptians want to see an end to all violence committed by any Egyptian Policeman. Egyptians are aspiring to the day when Egypt has its freedom and dignity back, the day when the current 30 years long emergency martial law ends and when Egyptians can freely elect their true representatives.

Did you ever think that Facebook’s technology and reach would help bring a government like Egypt’s to its knees?

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Shawn Marie Edgington is Americas leading “Texpert” and cyberbullying prevention expert.  She’s the author of “Read Between the lines: A Humorous Guide to Texting with Simplicity and Style” and “The Parent’s Guide to Texting, Facebook and Social Media”, which is slated for release in February of 2011. 

Shawn has been profiled on Fox Business, Fox News Radio, in the San Francisco Chronicle, View From the Bay, KRON 4 News, NPR, CBS Radio, The Leslie Marshall Show, InfoTrak, The John Carney Show, Mom’s the Word, The San Diego Union, American Cheerleader Magazine, CNN Radio and dozens of radio stations around the country.

After a personal experience she had with her 16-year old daughter being threatened by text and on Facebook, she’s made it her mission to help parents “parent” around technology. Her solution?  Shawn’s developed The One-Click Safety Kit, a turnkey program that helps families defend against sexting, online predators, cyberbullies and textual harassment.                               

  http://www.shawnedgington.com

Mobile Communication Offers Additional Student Support

Tuesday, December 14th, 2010

In November of 2009, Pottsgrove High School located in Pottstown, PA, experienced the tragic deaths of two students in an automobile accident. The social and emotional impact of these sudden deaths, and the subsequent conversations with students, led the administration to seek novel ways to offer support to students and their friends who are experiencing barriers to learning, such as drug, alcohol or mental health issues.

The High School principal had seen a video showcasing a preventative tool employed by stadiums, which encouraged fans to text in to a central command for assistance with crowd control or unruly behavior. In light of recent events, he began to think of its application in education and in specifically addressing the needs of our school. The company (http://www.guestassist.net/) delivers mobile phone-based communications that allow an enterprise, such as a school, to interact with their students.

Texting on a keyboard phone
Image via Wikipedia


While cell phones use in class is against their school policy, a “technology zone” was established in the cafeteria where students are permitted to use their phones during lunch. With the implementation of this system, a cutting-edge technology commonly utilized on college campuses, students have communicated via text to the operators (school administration and a few select teachers) about bullying, various concerns about their friends, and knowledge of drug use. Signs and video news bulletins have been circulating through this particular high school with the following message:

CONCERNED? Text “Falcons” and your concern to 78247

Students are encouraged to text message concerns relating to bullying, possible drug and alcohol abuse, self-injury, and other topics that may hinder student learning. All text messages are filtered into a website that is consistently monitored by trained teachers and administrators. Students receive a message in return thanking them for their concern, asking for more specific details, or in cases deemed urgent, asked to report to an administrator or counselor for support. Incoming information is then passed on to school personnel who can best provide assistance to the student.

In the first month of operation, the Falcon Assist has provided supports to at least a dozen students. It’s great to see that students care and have concern for their peers!

The school is now asking for our parents to help provide support to their students by utilizing the text messaging service. “If you feel your son/daughter or their friends are in need of assistance, then please text “Falcons” and your concern to 78247.”

The system is simple yet powerful, as it allows for anonymous communication, has a web-based control system for easy access and the ability to tag conversations for future reports based on type of concern or issue.

I’m looking forward to my interview this Thursday with Chris Schaffer, the principal of Pottsgrove High School, who is the genius behind the system’s implementation.

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