Bits and Bytes

November 2018: Digital Wellness for SCPS Students

Online Relationships -- Advice, Positives, & Negatives

Interacting with others in an online environment comes with its own set of challenges. There are many positive ways you can interact with friends and others online. You can benefit from keeping up with friends and relatives who may live far away or from catching up with close friends you may not have gotten a chance to see at school. New online environments allow you to collaborate on school assignments and continue learning outside the classroom. You may also use the power of the internet to meet and discuss issues that are important to you with others. You might learn a new skill by watching someone else’s YouTube tutorial and then gain further clarification by commenting on the video. Maybe you are an entrepreneur who sells items online or maybe you meet new people through online gaming communities.

As you are no doubt aware, interactions online are not always positive and can spiral out of control if you are not careful. People you know in school can change when hiding behind the screen of their computer. Online bullying is easier when you are not face to face with the target. Many of you may deal with interactions online with people you don’t know commenting on your social media posts or sending you private messages or friend requests. You may receive spam messages either in your newsfeed, private message inbox or email. What once may have been a safe environment for you is now a place where you must exercise extreme caution.

When interacting with someone you already know, make sure your online interactions are positive and match how you would speak with them face-to-face. Don’t let your screen change how you speak to others, and always remember that whatever you post, text, message, or comment can always be saved with a simple screen shot. Just like your social media posts, pictures, and videos, the way you communicate online is part of your digital footprint that potential friends, significant others, and employers can see.

If you don’t feel comfortable with an online interaction, report it. Emails, messages, and comments can be reported, and profiles can be blocked. Don’t let yourself get drawn into conversations because you are afraid that not responding makes you rude. Listen to your gut, and don’t start or continue conversations that don’t feel right to you. Involve a trusted adult if you need help. Don’t be afraid to reach out if you are feeling uncomfortable or scared. If a particular social media tool or website starts to have a negative impact on you, tell yourself you need to stop visiting it. If you do not walk away from your online interactions with a good feeling, you should reevaluate how you are spending your time.

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“Phubbing” — snubbing someone you’re talking to to look at a cell phone may not be part of your everyday vocabulary, but it’s almost certainly part of your everyday life. Just think about how often a conversation stalls because your friends (or you) have pulled out a phone and descended into an Instagram or Snapchat black hole.

The phenomenon may seem like a relatively harmless, if annoying, part of modern life, but research is finding that it may be hurting your relationships. Click here to read more from Time...

Are You Snubbing Your Friends?

You are snubbing someone when you are talking with them and then you look at your phone. Just think about how often a conversation stalls because your friends (or you) have pulled out a phone and descended into an Instagram black hole.

The phenomenon may seem like a relatively harmless, if annoying, part of modern life, but research is finding that it may be hurting your relationships.

Quiz: Have You Ever Snubbed or Phubbed Someone?

Click the button to take our quiz!

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Interesting Findings from our October Social Media Affecting Mental Health Survey

  • 28 of our newsletter readers decided to break free from social media for the month of October.

  • 45% of our newsletter readers spend a lot of time thinking about social media or planning to use social media.

  • 28% of our newsletter readers have urges to use social media more and more.

  • 37% of our newsletter readers use social media to forget about personal problems.

  • 24% of our newsletter readers try to reduce the time they spend on social media without success.

  • 21% of our newsletter readers become restless or troubled if they are unable to use social media.

  • 89% of our newsletter readers say that social media does not have a negative impact on jobs and studies.

Get Involved

Relationships and communicating on social media making you miserable? Get involved in your school's activities. Select the links below to learn about the student activities your school has for you to become a member of.

Report Phishing and Spam E-mail Messages in Gmail

Phishing is an attempt by an end user to try and capture private information from an unsuspecting victim to do digital harm. Phishing e-mail messages, or even websites, might ask you for usernames, passwords, social security numbers, student ID numbers, bank account numbers, credit card numbers, your birthday, or other personal information that others should not know. Phishing websites may look like legitimate websites that you visit on a daily basis, luring you to enter your username and password.

Spam are e-mail messages that are irrelevant or inappropriate.

Although Gmail tries to indicate with a banner above the message body of an e-mail message on whether the e-mail message might be dangerous, it’s important for you to assess the e-mail message for yourself to ensure that it is legitimate. Remember that Google, Gmail, or our high school and school division will never ask you for your password.

To report an e-mail message as phishing or spam, open Gmail, open the message, locate the More button located next to the Reply button, and then select Report phishing or Report spam.

If the end user has a Gmail account that you would like to report, let Google know by pointing your Web browser to