Bits and Bytes

October 2018: Digital Wellness for SCPS Students

What is the place of social media in our lives?

Have you taken the time to consider the role that digital media plays in your everyday life? How much time do you spend on social media versus connecting face-to-face with friends and family? Do you feel like you have to constantly check your phone in case you miss something? Do you find yourself reaching for your phone without even realizing? Have you ever asked yourself, what is my purpose for being on social media?

Take a look at the following chart from Common Sense Media and consider which statements can be the upsides or downsides to social media. Which ones do you connect with the most?

Check out the following short video from Common Sense Media where students like you share their perspectives on social media. Do you find that these perspectives match what you experience online? What additional upsides and downsides did these students identify about social media?

Think about how you feel after spending time online. If you always find yourself upset, sad, or angry, consider evaluating what you are doing online and if you need to take a social media break. Maybe you need to spend more in person time with friends and family or maybe you need to take up a new hobby or activity. Work to find a good balance between sharing and connecting online with people who may be physically far away and working on your in person relationships without the constant pull of social media. Put down your phone and don’t allow it to control your day. Make the choice to be more present and see if your outlook changes.

How Can Social Media Affect Mental Health?

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Is comparison putting you down?

Think about your friend’s Snapchat Story that made you think that your life wasn’t as exciting as theirs. How about looking through Instagram and feeling jealous that your friend’s family went on a trip to a beautiful island while you stayed at home. We are constantly comparing ourselves to others. This isn’t always a bad thing; however, this can make us feel like our life isn’t as cool as our friends’. That’s not healthy.

So, what can you do? Find joy in getting to see the great things your friends are doing by talking to them about their post. Use your friend’s post as a conversation starter. Next time you see them in person ask them about their trip or whatever the topic of the post was. Be genuine and show true interest in their fun and you will also benefit. Remember, your life has great moments, too!

Tech Tips: YouTube

YouTube opens a whole new world of learning opportunities and allows you to search endlessly from the topics that you are researching in your class to the latest fads and trends. This platform allows you to search through hundreds, and even thousands, of videos uploaded by experts to everyday users. YouTube defines how we access information right in the moment and even allows you to upload what you’re interested in to share and teach viewers. YouTube is available both through your Web browser and as an app for your mobile device. It is easily accessible through the Google apps menu. Watch Google for Education’s, “This is how we learn,” to help you think about how our world uses YouTube:

Through your Google account, you have access to YouTube. For the full user experience with YouTube, ensure that you sign-in to your account. Finding your way around YouTube can seem like you have been placed in a maze. To navigate around YouTube, point your Web browser to where you’ll learn the basics about your subscriptions, what’s trending, and setting up your channel. The power of YouTube comes from setting up your own YouTube channel, which allows you to upload videos, comment, or even make playlists. To learn how to create your YouTube channel, point your Web browser to and review the section on Create a personal channel. Watch how Camille Johnson from the channel OffbeatLook uses YouTube to express her style and share what she is passionate about with her community:

The YouTube Creator Academy provides a quick start guide to YouTube in four simple lessons. See if you can pass the course exam, all while learning the basics of YouTube! The lessons cover tips, the basics of YouTube, branding your channel, and an introduction to YouTube’s policies and guidelines. To get started, point your Web browser to