How social media impacts families and what we can do

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How social media impacts families and what we can do

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Facebook, Twitter, YouTube – they surround us everywhere it seems. The impact on our families has been nothing short of astounding. But when you put social media in comparison to other media, it’s really important that we understand what the risks are. So consider radio – it took radio 38 years to reach 50 million people. It took the television 14 years to reach 50 million people. It took the Internet a mere 4 years to reach 50 million people. It took the iPad 3 years to reach 50 million people. But when it comes to social media, it took a mere 9 months to reach 100 million people. So clearly, social media came on us like a landslide, but there was no time for any of us to be educated ourselves or our kids about the power and the pitfalls and the rules and the ramifications – how to use social media responsibly? How to use it safely? How to protect our privacy? And as a result, we’re dealing with a side effect of privacy issues, identity theft, cyber bullying and our kids’ exposure to inappropriate content. But the good news about social media is we’re now at the second wave. Just like before when there used to only be 3 television networks – ABC, NBC, CBS – along came cable and with cable came choice and programming. And in social media, that’s what’s happening now. And that’s good news for our families, there are kid-specific social networks like yoursphere.com that offer age-appropriate, content-appropriate experience while kids get all of the great things about social media and all that the Internet has to offer while learning to use it responsibly and safely. And that is a wonderful change.

Watch Mary Kay Hoal's video on How social media impacts families and what we can do...

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Expert Bio

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Mary Kay Hoal

Family Internet Safety Expert

Mary Kay Hoal is a nationally recognized expert on children’s online safety. She is the founder and president of Yoursphere Media Inc., which focuses on the family and publishes the kids’ social network Yoursphere.com. Mary Kay also offers parents Internet-safety information and tips at YoursphereForParents.com. She has been profiled on CNN, Fox & Friends, FOX Business, E!, Lifetime TV, ABC News Now, and The Reader's Digest. Mary Kay is also part of the "Web Avenger" team for ABC's 20/20.

In 2012, Mary Kay founded The Yoursphere Media Foundation and Coalition for Internet Safety Education and Reform (FCISER), which is dedicated to creating a network of community educators that provide children, their parents, schools and communities, with the necessary skills, knowledge and tools they need to have a positive and safer digital experience.

Mary Kay has also been published on sites such as DrLaura.com, Yahoo! Shine and ABC News where she's able to reach millions of parents. 

 

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