Internet Safety

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Jul 18, 2018

An All Star pitcher found himself caught in a whirlwind of controversy over comments he made on Twitter as a teenager, and there is an important lesson here for our children: what you do online will follow you forever.

Josh Hader is a pitcher for the Milwaukee Brewers. During the All Star game, fans found old Tweets in which Hader made racist and anti-gay comments. The tweets were seven years old. After the game, Hader had to answer questions about his comments instead of his performance on the field. He offered an apology and said, “It was something that happened when I was 17 years old. As a child, I was immature, and I obviously said some things that were inexcusable. That doesn’t reflect on who I am as a person today, and that’s just what it is.”

What you say online today can come back to find you later in life. Internet experts recommend asking yourself something like “Would I say this in front of my grandma or would I show her this picture?” or “Would I walk up to a stranger and say this to them/show them this picture?” If the answer is no, then do not post it because once it is posted, it cannot be deleted. Even on Snapchat, comments can live on long after they’ve disappeared because friends can screenshot those comments and share them with others.

According to a Kaplan Test Prep survey of more than 350 college admissions officers in the U.S., 35 percent of officers polled said they check applicants’ social media accounts to learn more about them. This is one of many reasons to remember that what you say online today will follow you forever. A survey of employers by Career Builder found that 43% of them search applicants’ social media accounts.

Navigating the ins and outs of social media and internet safety can be difficult because technology is always changing. Stephen Smith of A Wired Family spoke to our students last year and hosted parent sessions about internet safety. We encourage you to check out his website for great articles about talking to your children about being safe online.