“Most kids have no fear when it comes to the Internet. That’s a good thing. Being afraid of the Internet would be like being afraid to walk to school, to the mall, or to a friend’s house. You can’t live in fear. At the same time, you need to be aware of your surroundings, protect yourself, and make good choices, both offline and online.” – Linda McCarthy
This paragraph sets the tone for Linda McCarthy’s, Digital Drama Staying Safe While Being Social Online. This book is not about scaring teens. It is about giving kids the tools to prepare them for living life online. Linda McCarthy shares real world examples to highlight risks and offer ways to avoid digital mishaps.
This book is for teens. It is also a great read for parents. Her four categories for what not to post is a must read. In our house, I will be bringing up Number 2 especially in light of the recent Holloway House incident.
2. Posts or photos that feature you doing something stupid, illegal, or dangerous
“At some time in their lives most people find themselves in the wrong place at the wrong time. The trick is to have a plan in advance. If you’re under 20, at some point your friends will most likely do something stupid (like underage drinking, vandalism, etc.). Then they’ll compound that stupidity by recording it on a smartphone. Your goal should be to make it to age 22 without starring in one of those videos.”
From there, she shares ideas for how teens can work out a plan to avoid and/or escape this scenario. She applies this straight forward advice to the other 3 categories as well as cyberbullying, social networking, privacy settings and security.
The best part is Digital Drama is free on Amazon until the 27th. Although this book is for teenagers, parents should check it out. Even if you don’t have a Kindle, you can still download it for free to a PC, smartphone or tablet.
If you are on Twitter, join Microsoft and other online safety experts on September 25 at 12:00 p.m. Pacific as they talk with Linda McCarthy (@ddramabook) about how her e-book can help parents talk with kids about digital safety. (Use #ChatSTC to join.)