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Mount de Sales is one of only two schools in Georgia that have joined a nationwide effort to encourage teens to navigate social media and technology in positive, high character ways. #WinatSocial is a grassroots movement of teens who are willing to use their social media accounts for good—to share uplifting stories and follow positive role models. The program, developed by The Social Institute, provides a curriculum of educational lessons and valuable resources to teachers and parents.

Earlier this month, every student on campus had the opportunity to participate in grade level discussions on finding a balance between attention to technology and time spent with the people around them. Students and faculty talked about balancing time on devices to reach personal goals, how technology shapes the school culture, and the science behind screen time (Studies show that social media and games release the addictive chemical dopamine in our brains!).

MDS parents should take advantage of the Win at Social platform to help your family establish a social standards agreement while the idea of striking a balance is still fresh in the mind of your student.  Through the Win at Social Resource Portal, you can access a Family Social Standards Agreement form that can be modified to meet the needs of your family.  By completing the form together as a family, it will foster discussions around important topics such as the use of technology at night, in the car, or at the dinner table.  Click here and select the #WinatSocial tab for instructions on how to access the resource portal.

Parents who are interested in creating their own agreement should consider these questions as a family:

  • What are our personal goals for sleep, work, school, and extracurricular activities?
  • What are our priorities before down time and screen time?
  • When and where is it ok or not ok to use technology?
  • How are devices handled at night?
  • What information is ok and not ok to share about family members, friends, others?
  • What apps are appropriate at what age? Is permission needed to add apps?
  • Who has access to a family member’s social media accounts and passwords? How will children’s accounts be monitored?
  • What types of friend requests are appropriate and inappropriate?
  • What happens if any parts of the agreement are not followed?

When completing a social media standards agreement, it is important to remember that it is for the entire family and all members should adhere to it…including the parents. As Devin G. Durrant said, “Our most impactful parental teaching is our example.”

For some interesting insights into teens social media habits, see this infographic from The Social Institute.

Click here for more MDS Musings Blog posts. 

Mount de Sales Academy is a private Catholic school located in Macon, GA, and serves students in Bibb, Houston, Jones, Monroe, Peach and other surrounding counties.  MDS is sponsored and inspired by the Sisters of Mercy. Since 1876, MDS has served a diverse college-preparatory community of learners—students and teachers alike—who are poised to discover, challenged to innovate, and motivated to serve.