On Thursday I held 3103 Communications’ first ever Introduction to Social Media Seminar. Overall, I would say the night was a success – lots of discussions being had, questions being asked and information being shared!!
Upon arrival, the attendees enjoyed some vegetarian sushi, tea/coffee and chit-chatted about the traffic. At 6.30 pm on the dot, we began the seminar. The first thing I did after introducing myself was engage the participants in a good ol’ “ice-breaker.” Each person wrote down on a piece of paper the first thought or feeling that came to mind when they heard the words “social media.” It was such an interesting exercise as what became apparent was that each parent in attendance shared the same fears and concerns when it came to this topic.
So, without delay I launched into explaining to them exactly what social media was in the hopes of relieving some of this concern and fear. I began, naturally, with a brief definition of what social media is (thanks Wikipedia!) When each participant registered I asked them the question “which social media site/app would you like to learn more about.” I then put together a brief overview of every single one of these sites/apps to present to the group. The overview proved to be really useful – it stimulated a lot of questions about each of the sites, as well as commentary on the general use/necessity/issues surrounding each of them. One thing that shocked me was how shocked the parents were when I explained that the age limits on social media sites weren’t “suggested” age limits but actually based on the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act. I think there may be a Sunday Safety Bulletin post just waiting to happen there…!
After spending a significant amount of time discussing these nominated sites – which by the way included the likes of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, SnapChat, AskFM and Kik Messenger – I gave an overview of the risks and benefits of social media (I couldn’t go into too much detail as that is what my second and third seminars cover!!)
Finally, I shared tips and suggestions for what parents could do to keep their children safe online – I saw lots of frantic scribbling in handbooks at this point, so I think some of these may have been of use!
The most nerve-wracking part of the night was the moment where I read the evaluation forms….However, the nerves were unnecessary as I received nothing but positive feedback! Something I am very humbled but happy about. A lot of this positive feedback centred around participants walking away now more open to the idea of making an effort to learn/use/accept social media, which at the end of the day is really my only goal!
Fancy being part of such a seminar? We have February & March seminars currently open for registration!