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Relationships And Technology
Relationships And Technology
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Relationships And Technology

This video addresses technology and relationships. Texting or sending SMS messages online can be a great way to communicate quickly, with humor, or with serious conversations that you might feel more comfortable writing about. The trouble with online messaging is that you can’t see a person’s facial expressions or hear their tone of voice. Sometimes there are mistakes in online messages, or devices change the words-called ‘autocorrect’.  This can lead to confusion and misunderstandings.

Youth

Being connected to your friends, family, and everyone else online can be awesome! The internet can be a great way to communicate and share with friends and family all over the world. However, just like most things there are advantages and disadvantages to using technology in your relationships. Here are some things to remember when you’re communicating online.

Texting or sending SMS messages online can be a great way to communicate quickly, with humor, or with serious conversations that you might feel more comfortable writing about. The trouble with online messaging is that you can’t see a person’s facial expressions or hear their tone of voice. Sometimes there are mistakes in online messages, or devices change the words-called ‘autocorrect’. This can lead to confusion and misunderstandings.

Emojis, GIFs and other pictures can add humor and excitement to a conversation, but different people might interpret them differently. For example, in some situations giving a thumbs-up is positive, but in others it is mean or sarcastic.

If you’re unclear of what someone means online, or in real life, it is best to ask.

Here are some things to say if you’re unsure about what a message means:

I’m not sure what that means, can you explain?
That emoji looks funny to me, did you mean it that way?
I’m not sure if this message means you are upset or in a hurry, can you explain.
My sister uses that emoji when she’s worried, is that what you mean?
Is this an autocorrect, or am I missing something?
Hey, I think I’m not being clear in my messages, can we talk really quick?
I feel confused about your last message, can we talk or video chat for a bit?

Remember, once you send a message, it could be shared with other people without your knowledge or permission. Forwarding a message you receive or posting a screenshot of a conversation online may also be illegal in your community if the message contains a photo of a young person. Talk to your trusted adult if you, or someone you know is having trouble online.

Communicating online can be challenging for everyone but following these tips can help you have healthy relationships and feel like a communication champion.

FAQs

What is 'catfishing'?

Catfishing is when a person pretends to be someone else online-which can lead to dangerous situations.  It’s important for everyone, especially young people to know who they are communicating with online.  Only accept friend requests from people you already know and check the privacy settings on your device to make sure the only people that can see your content are people you trust.

Can I delete images forever?

Even when we press the ‘delete’ button, our pictures and videos never really disappear.  Instead, they are stored in ‘the cloud’ which is kind of like a digital safe.  It’s important to pause before you post, ask yourself ‘do I want this in the world forever?’

What is 'trolling'?

Trolling is when a person deliberately starts an argument or controversy online.  It’s important to be careful of ‘trolls’ on your online content-they say things just to make you mad, sad, or scared.  If someone is trolling you, block and report their account immediately and talk to a trusted adult.

Parents

The internet is a great place for young people to do research for school, connect with their friends and family, play video games, or check out the latest trending videos.  It’s important to remember that billions of people access the internet, so there are lots of opportunities to connect.  Communicating online can have challenges, for people at any age, helping young people build their online communication skills will help them in real life as well.

 

It’s best to start conversations about communication early. Talk to young people about online safety and being careful of ‘catfishing’-people pretending to be someone else, ‘trolling’- anonymous comments by people who want to start trouble and controversy, and the permanence of images and messages online.

 

It’s important for young people to think critically before sharing personal information, pictures, or videos online. Nothing on the internet is completely private, but young people can avoid unwanted contact and unwanted content by using online safety tools, understanding privacy and location settings, and keeping strong passwords.

 

Conversation Starters

 

Here are some ways to start these conversations:

Talk about what different emojis and popular GIFs mean to you, ask young people to share what they mean to them and the people around them.

Talk about times when you misunderstood someone online, and together practice scenarios or questions you can ask for clarification.

 

You can help your young person by setting up privacy settings and passwords together. Create a safe environment for them to share their feelings about online communication and be the trusted adult they go to for support.

Educators

The internet is a great place for young people to do research for school, share pictures with friends, play video games or check out the latest trending videos. Communicating online can have challenges, for people at any age, helping young people build their online communication skills will help them in real life as well.

 

It’s best to start conversations about communication early. Talk to young people about online safety and being careful of ‘catfishing’-people pretending to be someone else, ‘trolling’- anonymous comments by people who want to start trouble and controversy, and the permanence of images and messages online.

 

It’s important for young people to think critically before sharing personal information, pictures, or videos online. Nothing on the internet is completely private, but young people can avoid unwanted contact and unwanted content by using online safety tools, understanding privacy and location settings, and keeping strong passwords.

 

Helping young people communicate online in safe and healthy ways is essential. Give them plenty of opportunities in class to practice assertive online communication; give them practice scenarios to role-play with their peers in a safe environment. This will help them when they are communicating on their own, both online and in real life.

Discussion Questions

Use the following discussion questions after watching the video with your class:

What have you heard about catfishing or trolling?

 

How do you know what different emojis/GIFs mean?

 

How can you communicate online with your friends, family, and others in safe, healthy, and respectful ways?

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