Dear NMS Families,
It has come to my attention that there are certain Social Media practices taking place among our students that I would like to make you aware of.
Within the Snapchat App there is a “Stories” section where students can post picture/video stories with or without text. Present trend shows that students are posting pictures of themselves and asking to be rated, or for opinions of other students. In some instances, they are posting about other students to gather opinions as well. This seems to be happening on Instagram as well. Below are a few examples of the ways students are anonymously “rating” or “bullying” each other ….
Students will post a picture of themselves or another student and the description will say, “what is one word you think of when you think of me/my friend?”. They will screenshot responses to which others may be “blocked” from seeing, put it in a photo editor, cross out the name of who said the comment, and send a screenshot to their friends. A lot of times they will say, “I am being a good friend for letting them know this is happening”.
The other method they use is they post a picture in Snapchat asking for an opinion and post a link to another app called Sarahah. Students can go into Saharah and leave an opinion and it is absolutely anonymous. Other apps Students are using that are along the same idea are TBH (To Be Honest), and Pollyfun. As you can imagine most times these opinions are not kind, and there isn’t a way to track who said them.
A lot of times I ask students, why not just get off these apps and take a break? They very willingly agree but not before stating they will give their password to a friend to continue their “streaks”. A streak is on snapchat, it is a tracker of how many correspondences happen between two people. An emoji appears with a number next to each person’s name. Friendship in middle school seems to be measured by these streaks, and the bigger the streak the better the friendship.
I plan to do my annual Social Media Awareness night in the spring, yet when I see developing trends that are affecting our students I like to make parents/family members aware to encourage family conversations regarding the role your student plays. If you have any questions or concerns please have your student reach out to me, or let me know and I will touch base!
Thank you for your time,