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Social Media Tips for High School Students

CCA Student Using Her Laptop at Home

Social media platforms have changed the way the world works. Billions of people have social media accounts, as do most companies and businesses.

Those platforms themselves are changing at a dizzying rate. Facebook was the No. 1 social media site used by teens in 2015, but now it’s not even in the top three, a tier occupied by YouTube, Instagram and Snapchat. 

Is your child ready for a social media-centric world? Even if your child isn’t on social media right now, it’s sure to become integral to college or career. Social media is everywhere, which is why social media tips for students are essential. CCA offers a social media course to help high school students understand the impact social media can have and all the ways it can be used.

CCA Course Educates Students on Social Media for Personal and Professional Development

CCA’s social media course, a half-year course that fulfills CCA’s technology graduation requirement, is offered to all students in grades 9 through 12. 

The course consists of 10 units covering topics including: 

  • Popular platforms and their purposes: Each social media platform targets different audiences and serves different purposes. Students learn to distinguish among them and calculate which serve their needs. 
  • How social media’s evolution has changed marketing and advertising practices: For decades, advertisers have sought the most efficient ways to deliver messages to the people most likely to buy their products. Digital media has segmented markets in ways never believed possible, giving advertisers and marketers direct access to potential customers who are open to their sales pitches. 
  • How to use social media for personal, educational and professional development: High school is the time to start thinking of social media as more than a fun way to connect with friends. Social media is a powerful learning tool and a foundation for building a career, networking with employers and showcasing your talents. 

The course reviews the imperatives of protecting personal information and leveraging social media as a tool for launching careers after graduation. Students put social media in the context of their lives today and their future careers. CCA recognizes that some learners and their families are uncomfortable with or uninterested in having social media accounts, so an account is not required for this course. However, students will have optional side opportunities to apply what they’re learning to their own social media usage. 

7 Social Media Tips for High School Students

Social media is full of advantages and landmines. Although the virtual world can propel children toward fulfilling careers and satisfying social lives, it can also present dangers and undermine reputations. Thus, teaching social media safety tips for students is imperative.

1. Remove Negative Pictures and Posts

Too many people, teens and adults alike, learn the hard way that pictures and words posted on the internet can haunt them forever. Knowing how to remove negative posts is crucial to maintaining a sterling reputation. Social media apps offer delete functions, but each app works differently and there’s no guarantee that a post wasn’t shared on other platforms. It’s also important to learn how, and why, to avoid negative posts altogether, building the skills to think twice before hitting “post.”

2. Highlight positive student life experiences

Employers and college-admissions officers want to know about more than your skills and grades. They look at your social media profiles to learn about your character, integrity and such soft skills as teamwork, communications and problem-solving. An online presence demonstrating your involvement in the life of school, community and family highlights those positive traits for influential people to see.

3. Privatize Your Social Media Networks

Social media participation is not a one-and-done proposition. Often, the default settings might not suit your purposes, or they change without your realizing it. Even if you think a limited circle of people can see and share your accounts, it pays to check your settings. Without proactive steps, the details of your life could fall into the wrong hands. It’s important to manage the privacy settings on every social media account you have and review them periodically to make sure they’re still in place.

4. Set Up Timeline Review to Monitor Tagging

Tagging is one of the best things about social media, allowing users to reach out to friends with funny or meaningful pictures and memes. But what if a friend tags you on something that’s embarrassing or inappropriate, and it appears on your page? Once again, you can take control. On Facebook, for instance, you can go into settings, click “Timeline and Tagging,” and enable your ability to review tags before they go on your site.   

5. Keep Personal Information Protected

Through social media, you can be proud of your school and your hometown, celebrate your birthday, post your email address and share your phone number. It’s great fun, until an identity thief uses that information to establish fraudulent credit cards in your name or access your family’s bank accounts. Halt hackers at the door by using strong passwords, two-factor authentication and VPNs (virtual private networks) to encrypt your communications. It’s also important to verify friend requests, keep up your antivirus software, watch for suspicious login attempts and always log off when you’re done.

6. Review Your Social Media Before You Apply to College or a Job

When it’s time to present your best self, take a look at your online presence before that job interviewer or admissions officer gets the chance. This is your opportunity to find and remove problematic old posts, and to put up positive posts that show your initiative and talents. 

7. Avoid Peer Pressure to Post Inappropriately

Social media is all about friends, but friends don’t always know best. The phenomenon known as peer pressure can have the same dire consequences for virtual postings — maybe something dangerous or insensitive — as they can for poor decisions made in real life. When friends urge you to post something that might seem funny at the time, ask yourself “WWGS?” That means “What would Grandma say?” If she would cringe at the sight, chances are a future employer or college-admissions officer doesn’t want to see it, either.

Why Students Need to Learn Social Media Do’s and Don’ts

Kids might think of social media as, well, purely social, but adults have learned to corral its power to make connections and build careers

In high school, CCA learners zero in on the skills and experiences to reach their goals after graduation. Those goals might include college or university, career training or entering the military or the workforce. 

The student’s social media presence is an introduction to all of them. Knowing how to navigate social media is a foundational skill not taught at many high schools, but CCA knows every student will use these skills for the rest of their lives. Consider these reasons that taking a social media course and learning to avoid social media mistakes is impactful.

College admissions: Admissions officers have been known to rescind offers of enrollment. Why? Because they found inappropriate social media posts. Not every admissions officer reviews applicants’ social media, but in the digital era it is hard to avoid. Those who apply to college might share links to posts spotlighting their attributes, but those links can lead to less-flattering parts of the picture. On the flip side, college and university admissions officers might be convinced to accept a candidate whose social media presence shows someone who would not only do well academically but also be an asset to the campus community.

Potential employers: Like college admissions officers, potential employers want to check your social media profile to see if you’re a good fit. Of course, “good fit” differs from one company to the next, but a positive, professional attitude and a commitment to teamwork are universal. In fact, social media screenings by employers are on the rise, with 70 percent of employers using social media to screen potential hires and 43 percent checking on current employees.   

CCA Students Learn Life Skills From Media Courses

High school students who know how to use social media properly have an advantage over their peers after graduation. They learn to make connections, write in different styles and become contributing members of online communities. Their personalities shine through, and they are more confident digital citizens. 

At CCA, our social media course is just one class in a deep selection of electives designed to prepare students for what’s next. Our career- and college-readiness outlook encourages high school students to take the lead in their education by setting goals, working independently and exploring their post-high school options. Our learners and their families get guidance at every step on developing customized plans to reach their goals. Learn more about the variety of engaging electives CCA offers high school students.

Author

Commonwealth Charter Academy

Published

November 17th, 2020

Category

Learning Lab

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