Archive for May, 2011

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 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:


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:

New Review at For The Parents Guide!!

Friday, May 6th, 2011

The Parent’s Guide just got reviewed by 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\