PTSA/WHEN-sponsored speaker will address social media concerns

27 Sep

I can’t speak for everyone in my generation, but I’ve come to a point in my life where I can’t keep up with the pace of technology. That’s especially the case with the proliferation of social media outlets. I mean, I’m still not even on board with TikTok and Snapchat, which in 2022 are among the elder statesmen of social media.

So I can’t even imagine how difficult it must be to have kids right now, who seem to be on their phones every waking moment. Keeping them safe and focused on school and other responsibilities is a formidable task.

A program coming up on Tuesday Oct. 4 is designed to help parents with that task.

The program, sponsored by the Webster Central PTSA and the Webster Health Education Network (WHEN), is called Social Media and Your Kids. It features Mark Stossel, an award-winning poet and filmmaker, who will speak on how technology affects, influences, and makes addicts of all of us.

Stossel is kind of an expert in the field. He ran social media for multinational brands and worked for a social media company where he designed some of the same notification structures to distract people that he now raises awareness about. He has spoken with hundreds of thousands of students, parents, and educators around the world about social media’s impact on our lives and provides a unique and much needed critical perspective on the role of technology in schools and in our society. 

His presentation will illustrate some of the specific ways technology is designed to be addictive and distracting, give an overview of how students are using social media, and give recommendations on how to improve focus and diminish distraction in learning environments. 

Stossel will speak at assemblies at both Webster Thomas and Schroeder high schools, but the presentation on Oct. 4 is meant for the entire Webster community. It will be held at Webster Schroeder High School, 975 Ridge Rd., on Tuesday Oct. 4 beginning at 7 p.m. Admission is free.

For more information on Stossel, go to socialawakening.org. For more information on his Webster School District presentations, contact Joe Montemaro, district director of educational technology and information, at 216-0123 or joe_montemaro@webstercsd.org.

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(posted 9/27/2022)

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