Learners have to understand the incredible power that they have when they communicate on social media and should be aware of the dangers associated with the use of this mode of communication.
That was the sentiments of Mitchell House Headmaster Andrew Cook after a presentation on the use of social media that was made to Grade 7 to 12 learners by Fashion Designer, Consultant and Researcher Lizzie Harrison at the school on Monday morning.
Harrison’s message to the learners using Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat and Whatsapp was to think before they post. “Nothing you post on any platform is private and it will not help to regret it afterwards,” she reiterated.
Harrison warned against communication with people with false identities and ulterior motives. “You can never be sure with whom you are communicating and reveal all your details,” she warned.
Harrison gave the learners eight rules to observe when using social media:
• Regret nothing – Once it is online, it is there to stay
• Don’t give just anyone access to your social media platforms
• Never think you are anonymous online
• Check before you post
• Don’t bite the hand that feeds you
• Don’t forget you represent your school
• If you wouldn’t say it in someone’s face, don’t say it online
• If you don’t want your mother to see it, don’t put it online.
Cook referred to the dangers that learners may be exposed to when making new friends on social media. “You have been warned. Don’t come to my office and plead ignorance. The laws of the country are there to protect you. Rather come and tell me if you have problems so that I can get personally involved to help you. If you are reported, it may be too late and procedures will have to be followed,” Cook said to teachers and learners.
A follow-up presentation focused on parents was also hosted on Monday evening.
Story and photos: BARRY VILJOEN