Social Media Pitfalls – Wadena Pioneer Journal


Motley, Minn. – Sivert Klefsaas was a viral star even before he hit social media.

The central Minnesota student stayed away from social media for six years.

It’s so unusual for a youngster to stay away from social media that the story has been shared statewide and nationally, like in ‘Good Morning America’, ‘Live with Kelly and Ryan’ , ABC’s “World News Now” and in The Washington Post.

Sivert started the challenge at age 12 until his 18th birthday in his senior year at Staples-Motley High School. With $1,800 for completing the challenge, her online presence surged thanks to the challenge her mother, Lorna Klefsaas, gave her.

Sivert Klefsaas was thrilled to accept the challenge and use his competitive spirit similar to a basketball or football game.

“He really dug.” Lorna Klefsaas shared with Kare 11. “He was like ‘I’m not going to break this.’ I’m proud of him, because there were a few times when it was more difficult.

Besides the time savings that come with staying away from social media, there can also be health benefits.

A 2021 study by European researchers notes that media consumption hours for children increase with age. The average for 8-year-olds was 4 hours and 28 minutes per day and the average for 12-year-olds was 8 hours and 14 minutes. Use of social media is recommended for 30 minutes per day.

The extra time spent on social media can also impact people’s anxiety and depression and sleep quality, as the Mayo Clinic shared in reference to a 2016 study of 450 teens.

Manage your time on social networks

Much of the world seems to live on social media these days, from your friends’ daily lives, to fun upcoming events, business reviews, your favorite superstars, general news, and chatting with friends and members. of the family. In October 2021, We Are Social reported that there were over 4.5 billion social media users worldwide.

Our feeds show us the best of people’s lives and, sometimes, the worst of how people interact with each other.

“You just heard about everything that’s going on and just with my friends and with the school, and like, ‘oh someone said this about you’ and ‘oh someone did that.’ And I was really spared from all of that,” Sivert shared with Kare 11.

Man using mobile smart phone with global network connection, technology, innovation and communication concept.

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With students in kindergarten through fourth grade having a cellphone, tablet or gaming device and social media prevalent throughout society, Staples-Motley District social workers chat with students who they are “friends” of online. Hallie Bergeson, an elementary social worker, said the district is starting first-grade internet safety discussions about digital citizenship, digital footprinting and cyberbullying.

“I have a lot of conversations with students about their use of social media, what’s appropriate and what’s not,” Staples-Motley College social worker Kesha Holst said in an email. Pioneer Journal. “I have a lot of conversations trying to figure out why it’s so important to have ‘likes’ on their videos, and/or if students actually know the people they’re ‘friends’ with on social media platforms. social media.”

In these online spaces, people are connected with friends of all ages across the world. As the district’s Director of Community Education, Communications and Marketing, Loren Walz communicates daily with families and shares district successes. Walz said “we are connected all the time”.

She sees this constant connection in her work and personal life, which she strives to balance by only responding to urgent messages outside of work. Times often “bleed,” she says, but because of her time working on social media, she spends less personal time on her accounts. She said “there’s something too much” time on social media.

The pandemic has increased virtual connections, online learning and the spread of misinformation. The University of Washington, while outlining the benefits and challenges of social media for academic use, noted that using Twitter for discussion and connecting student groups on Facebook was beneficial.

“Social media can be a great way to stay connected and gain new information and skills,” Bergeson said in an email. “Social media isn’t going anywhere, so I think it’s important to have conversations early on.”

Smiling afro girl using mobile phone at studio
A happy woman is chatting with friends on a mobile phone.

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If there’s one word to describe how district social workers hope students navigate social media, it’s with caution. They talk with students about making good choices about what to share on their accounts with their safety in mind.

“It is important for students to know who or what they can safely be involved with. This form of connecting with people can make it difficult to identify risks and dangers,” Staples-Motley High School social worker Maggie Borg said in an email. “Again, social media can have adverse effects. It is important to be mindful of usage so that any negativities that may exist do not impact students as strongly.

Throughout the day, Borg said students are encouraged to have “positive interactions and relationships.” She added that in-person communication outside of the digital world is a “big difference in communicating, sharing and interpreting information.”

“I believe social media draws students’ attention to areas where it can be difficult to keep them focused,” Borg said. “I see that communication through social media has changed the way students interact and communicate with each other.”

“You like to see when people use it for all these positive reasons and it makes you kind of sad when you see the ugly coming out on social media, which I see sometimes in my work,” Walz said. “You just want people to be thoughtful and intentional in how they use it. And use it as a resource for good, not a weapon for unpleasant exchanges.

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