The Roanoker - July/August 2018 - 76

Not only can students text
each other in the class, they can
cyberbully, Snapchat, cheat, play
games and more. In a perfect
world, cell phones and social
media could be used to enrich
earning." -MAURIE SUTTON
lonely, more unhappy, and
get less sleep. It has also
been found that personal
social media usage leads to
a decrease in efficiency and
an increase in distraction."
Maurie Sutton, PhD,
has taught school for
18 years and agrees that
access to cell phones
during school creates
distractions. She says, "Not
only can students text each
other in the class, they
can cyberbully, Snapchat,
cheat, play games and
more. In a perfect world,
cell phones and social
media could be used to
enrich learning."
Some students do use their cell phones to track
assignments. Often, homework is assigned and turned
in via Google school accounts. Schools do encourage use
of digital media for independent research, like looking
up articles on Google Scholar.
One reason Google Scholar is encouraged is to
keep students from finding random articles online
that may not have validity. Teaching children that not
everything they see online is true is one thing parents
and educators can do to encourage responsible use of
media.
Another important thing parents can do is help
children feel comfortable coming to them when
they feel insecure or have a question. This may
dissuade them from seeking out potentially unreliable
information online or through questionable apps.
Commonsensemedia.org has a list of apps children
might be using and notes those that are of special
concern, including dating apps that have location
information.
A 14-year-old female student from Lord Botetourt
stated that she thinks social media can have negative
or positive impacts on teens depending on what they
follow. She says that she believes it has been good for

76

JULY/AUGUST 2018

her self-esteem because she follows people who post
body positive messages and encourage individuality.
However, she has friends who have body shame because
they compare themselves to images they see online.
Although there are aspects of digital media use that
may cause unwanted consequences, there are benefits
as well. Adults and youth are finding ways to express
themselves in new ways, sharing their talents online
and being recognized for their abilities. They are using
social media as a platform for causes they believe in and
finding support from like-minded people. Marginalized
individuals, like LGBTQ youth, can connect with
new friends who understand the struggles they face.
Introverts are more likely to reach out via social media
and feel less alone. We are exposed to new ideas and
challenged to open our minds in ways we might never
have been if we were not able to communicate with
those outside of our proximate communities.
While the potential for falling down the virtual
rabbit hole exists, there are ways to stop the fall and
mitigate the potential negative effects of digital media.
The key is to be intentional in our use and establish
boundaries about how we use digital technology so that
it adds value to our lives and our children's lives. I
TheRoanoker.com


http://www.Commonsensemedia.org http://www.TheRoanoker.com

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of The Roanoker - July/August 2018

The Roanoker - July/August 2018 - Intro
The Roanoker - July/August 2018 - Cover1
The Roanoker - July/August 2018 - Cover2
The Roanoker - July/August 2018 - 3
The Roanoker - July/August 2018 - 4
The Roanoker - July/August 2018 - 5
The Roanoker - July/August 2018 - 6
The Roanoker - July/August 2018 - 7
The Roanoker - July/August 2018 - 8
The Roanoker - July/August 2018 - 9
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The Roanoker - July/August 2018 - 11
The Roanoker - July/August 2018 - 12
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The Roanoker - July/August 2018 - 21
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The Roanoker - July/August 2018 - 33
The Roanoker - July/August 2018 - 34
The Roanoker - July/August 2018 - 35
The Roanoker - July/August 2018 - 36
The Roanoker - July/August 2018 - 37
The Roanoker - July/August 2018 - 38
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The Roanoker - July/August 2018 - 42
The Roanoker - July/August 2018 - 43
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The Roanoker - July/August 2018 - 105
The Roanoker - July/August 2018 - 106
The Roanoker - July/August 2018 - Cover3
The Roanoker - July/August 2018 - Cover4
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