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Zombies Invade the World

Yes! There is a worldwide outbreak—of zombies. Germans calls these shuffling, bent creatures “Smombies,” a word made by joining two words: zombie and smartphones. Smombies are the people you see walking around with their eyes on their smartphones and not on the road ahead.

Each year, hordes of people are hurt by bumping into objects, falling into pools and getting hit by bikes and vehicles.

Innocent drivers who can’t avoid these zombies suffer from the trauma of hurting others. Older and disabled people walking down the street don’t move fast enough to avoid zombies and are commonly bumped and injured.

And this isn’t just taking place in your neighborhood. Zombies are a problem around the world.

In Seoul, South Korea, the city’s transportation department put up signs that show people using smartphones walking into cars. The signs are meant to remind people how dangerous walking can be when they don’t pay attention. The problem is that people must look up from their smartphones to see the signs.

Germany officials put bright strips of LED lights right in the sidewalk. This was done to keep people from walking into city trains. These lights have also been used in sidewalks in the Netherlands. Many people don’t like this idea, because it makes zombies feel that they don’t have to pay attention to the world around them.

In Austria, officials put airbags around lampposts to keep zombie tourists from smashing into them as they walk through the streets looking at their phones.

The city of Chongqing in southwest China has tried to solve this problem by making two walking lanes. One is for people who are not using smartphones as they walk. The other is for people walking with their heads down.

Honolulu, Hawaii, has passed a law making it illegal to enter a crosswalk while you are looking at your smartphone. People who step out into traffic with their eyes on their phone face huge fines.

Because of all the traffic accidents caused by zombies with their phones, Brazil has older ladies helping young smartphone addicts cross the street safely.

All around the world, zombies—or smombies, if you prefer–put themselves and other people in danger. You can help stop the invasion. Remember this: a smartphone weighs about 4 ounces. A car can weigh about 80,000 ounces. When they hit each other, who do you think will win?

Now, look up.

Yes! There is a worldwide outbreak—of zombies. Germans calls these shuffling, bent creatures “Smombies,” a word made by joining two words: zombie and smartphones. Smombies are the people you see walking around with their eyes on their smartphones and not on the road ahead.

Each year, hordes of people are hurt by bumping into objects, falling into pools and getting hit by bikes and vehicles.

Innocent drivers who can’t avoid these zombies suffer from the trauma of hurting others. Older and disabled people walking down the street don’t move fast enough to avoid zombies and are commonly bumped and injured.

And this isn’t just taking place in your neighborhood. Zombies are a problem around the world.

In Seoul, South Korea, the city’s transportation department put up signs that show people using smartphones walking into cars. The signs are meant to remind people how dangerous walking can be when they don’t pay attention. The problem is that people must look up from their smartphones to see the signs.

Germany officials put bright strips of LED lights right in the sidewalk. This was done to keep people from walking into city trains. These lights have also been used in sidewalks in the Netherlands. Many people don’t like this idea, because it makes zombies feel that they don’t have to pay attention to the world around them.

In Austria, officials put airbags around lampposts to keep zombie tourists from smashing into them as they walk through the streets looking at their phones.

The city of Chongqing in southwest China has tried to solve this problem by making two walking lanes. One is for people who are not using smartphones as they walk. The other is for people walking with their heads down.

Honolulu, Hawaii, has passed a law making it illegal to enter a crosswalk while you are looking at your smartphone. People who step out into traffic with their eyes on their phone face huge fines.

Because of all the traffic accidents caused by zombies with their phones, Brazil has older ladies helping young smartphone addicts cross the street safely.

All around the world, zombies—or smombies, if you prefer–put themselves and other people in danger. You can help stop the invasion. Remember this: a smartphone weighs about 4 ounces. A car can weigh about 80,000 ounces. When they hit each other, who do you think will win?

Now, look up.

Small Print for Small Humans

kids online privacy policies

Do you really want someone to use your phone to record what you say without you knowing? Do you really want strangers looking at all your pictures and texts? Then you better learn about SMALL PRINT. How about strangers selling your pictures and texts to other people? Or following everything you do online?

Of course, secretly peeking into your life is wrong. Still, you probably clicked on a box that gave someone you don’t know permission to do just that.

Whenever you activate a phone or play a computer game or download an app, you see itsy bitsy print at the bottom of the pages. Those tiny words are filled with things that you need to check off before you can use your new computer or play that new game.  Those words can be so small that you probably can’t even read them.

If you could read them, they’d sound like gibberish. Many adults with years of education have trouble understanding what those weird words mean. Your parents should look at any small print that you check off, but they might have problems figuring out what they say. What people do know is that when you check the “AGREED” box, you give strangers permission to do scary things.

Do you:

– use a web browser?

– play games online?

– download apps to your phone or computer?

– upload pictures for your friends to see?

-store pictures or text in a cloud?

If you do, then here is a list of just some of the things that you have probably agreed to let strangers do:

  • turn your video and audio recorders on
  • take and use your pictures and videos
  • turn your gaming machine off forever
  • track everything you do online and share or sell your activity
  • prevent you or your parents from legally stopping people from sharing details from your lives.

Small print is tricky. Teams of well-trained lawyers spend thousands of hours working on every little word. All that time and all those brains are there to protect the big companies that you use online. It’s up to you and your parents to protect YOU.

Make a point of looking for small print. Grab a bunch of your friends and see if all of you can figure out exactly what you agree to when you click that little box. You will be surprised.

 

Do you really want someone to use your phone to record what you say without you knowing? Do you really want strangers looking at all your pictures and texts? Then you better learn about SMALL PRINT. How about strangers selling your pictures and texts to other people? Or following everything you do online?

Of course, secretly peeking into your life is wrong. Still, you probably clicked on a box that gave someone you don’t know permission to do just that.

Whenever you activate a phone or play a computer game or download an app, you see itsy bitsy print at the bottom of the pages. Those tiny words are filled with things that you need to check off before you can use your new computer or play that new game.  Those words can be so small that you probably can’t even read them.

If you could read them, they’d sound like gibberish. Many adults with years of education have trouble understanding what those weird words mean. Your parents should look at any small print that you check off, but they might have problems figuring out what they say. What people do know is that when you check the “AGREED” box, you give strangers permission to do scary things.

Do you:

– use a web browser?

– play games online?

– download apps to your phone or computer?

– upload pictures for your friends to see?

-store pictures or text in a cloud?

If you do, then here is a list of just some of the things that you have probably agreed to let strangers do:

  • turn your video and audio recorders on
  • take and use your pictures and videos
  • turn your gaming machine off forever
  • track everything you do online and share or sell your activity
  • prevent you or your parents from legally stopping people from sharing details from your lives.

Small print is tricky. Teams of well-trained lawyers spend thousands of hours working on every little word. All that time and all those brains are there to protect the big companies that you use online. It’s up to you and your parents to protect YOU.

Make a point of looking for small print. Grab a bunch of your friends and see if all of you can figure out exactly what you agree to when you click that little box. You will be surprised.

 

When Friends are Upset on Social Media

Friends on Social Media

Jill knows that Ringo — her fluffy spotted puppy — can understand her. Whenever she’s on her phone, Ringo sits politely at her feet and stares at her with round, brown eyes. Today, Jill read her social media posts to him. “Look,” she said, “Zazza is mad at Sam because he got into the school band and she didn’t”.

Jill continued. “Zazza said Sam got in because he gave the teacher a flower before auditions. They’re both my friends and I don’t know what to say.”

Ringo cocked his head and sniffed at the phone.

Jill sighed. “I know what you mean, Ringo. They’re both my friends. If I post something that makes Zazza feel good, it will make Sam mad. If I post something that makes Sam happy, Zazza will be upset. What should I do?”

Ringo flattened on the floor and covered his ears with his fuzzy white paws.

Jill crossed her arms.  “You really think I should just stay out of it?”

Ringo sat up and panted.

“You’re right. Zazza is hurt right now, but she does so much, she’ll forget about it in a few days. Maybe I should wait ‘til I see her in person and tell her I’m sorry she didn’t get on the band.”

Ringo’s tail started sweeping the floor.

“You like that idea? That way, Zazza will l know I care and I won’t make Sam mad. After all, he’s my friend, too.”

Ringo let his long tongue flop out of the side of his mouth. Then he gave a deep, strong, “Woof.”

Jill nodded. “You’re smart. If I post something on line, it will look like I’m taking sides between two people I like. If I talk to them in person, I’ll be a real friend instead of just someone who on comments online.”

Ringo panted happily. He liked people when they talked to each other in person. Being a dog, he knew that real friends share real time in the real world.

Online friends can’t throw sticks for you. They can’t sneak you a pizza crust when parents aren’t looking. Online friends can’t scratch your ears or take you for a walk. They can’t hug you or fill your water bowl. That’s why Ringo knows that what happens online is only part of being a friend. Being a real friend means being supportive in the real world and being kind in the real world.

Jill got off social media and phoned Sam. She congratulated him for getting on the band. Then she called Zazza and invited her over for pizza night.

That’s when Jill’s phone beeped. She looked at the message. “This is your Mom. Didn’t you forget something else in the real world?”

Jill smiled and tossed down her phone. “Hey, Mom,” she yelled into the kitchen. “Is it okay if Zazza comes over for pizza?”

Jill knows that Ringo — her fluffy spotted puppy — can understand her. Whenever she’s on her phone, Ringo sits politely at her feet and stares at her with round, brown eyes. Today, Jill read her social media posts to him. “Look,” she said, “Zazza is mad at Sam because he got into the school band and she didn’t”.

Jill continued. “Zazza said Sam got in because he gave the teacher a flower before auditions. They’re both my friends and I don’t know what to say.”

Ringo cocked his head and sniffed at the phone.

Jill sighed. “I know what you mean, Ringo. They’re both my friends. If I post something that makes Zazza feel good, it will make Sam mad. If I post something that makes Sam happy, Zazza will be upset. What should I do?”

Ringo flattened on the floor and covered his ears with his fuzzy white paws.

Jill crossed her arms.  “You really think I should just stay out of it?”

Ringo sat up and panted.

“You’re right. Zazza is hurt right now, but she does so much, she’ll forget about it in a few days. Maybe I should wait ‘til I see her in person and tell her I’m sorry she didn’t get on the band.”

Ringo’s tail started sweeping the floor.

“You like that idea? That way, Zazza will l know I care and I won’t make Sam mad. After all, he’s my friend, too.”

Ringo let his long tongue flop out of the side of his mouth. Then he gave a deep, strong, “Woof.”

Jill nodded. “You’re smart. If I post something on line, it will look like I’m taking sides between two people I like. If I talk to them in person, I’ll be a real friend instead of just someone who on comments online.”

Ringo panted happily. He liked people when they talked to each other in person. Being a dog, he knew that real friends share real time in the real world.

Online friends can’t throw sticks for you. They can’t sneak you a pizza crust when parents aren’t looking. Online friends can’t scratch your ears or take you for a walk. They can’t hug you or fill your water bowl. That’s why Ringo knows that what happens online is only part of being a friend. Being a real friend means being supportive in the real world and being kind in the real world.

Jill got off social media and phoned Sam. She congratulated him for getting on the band. Then she called Zazza and invited her over for pizza night.

That’s when Jill’s phone beeped. She looked at the message. “This is your Mom. Didn’t you forget something else in the real world?”

Jill smiled and tossed down her phone. “Hey, Mom,” she yelled into the kitchen. “Is it okay if Zazza comes over for pizza?”

What Would the ‘Future You’ Post?

future social media posts for kids safety

Adults tell you all the time: “Be careful what you post on social media! The Internet is forever!” Teachers say: “When you apply for college, the school might reject you because of all those pictures and mean posts.”

You hear over and over: “People who hire employees will read your history and you might not get the job you want.” You smile, nod, then roll your eyes. Who cares about what happens in five, ten or twenty years?

Someone just made a post that makes you angry—you feel that you must post some angry comment back. You take a picture of yourself drawing a rude image on a neighbor’s fence and snicker as you upload it to your page.

Stop. Take your fingers off your phone or keyboard. What you are told is true. The Internet saves everything you do today. People can see all your posts five, ten and even twenty years from now. People have lost jobs for postings made years before.

If you want to be, say, the boss of a company or a famous dancer or a doctor or mayor of a city, think about that when you post online. A firefighter’s job is to face danger and save lives—would someone like that make mean posts to a little kid?

Would a great engineer type hurtful words to a person who is different from him or her?  Maybe you won’t become a great engineer if you can’t get into college because of mean comments posted when you were a kid.

Think about what you want to be. Imagine reaching your goals. You could dream of being an athlete, a pop star, a carpenter, a zoologist—whatever it is, think about how The Future You would act online. What would a nurse post when a person talks about being in pain?

What would a great world leader do when he or she sees someone being bullied online? If you act like the person you want to grow up to be, you’ll be on the road to being that person.

Now, look at your social media platforms.

Think about what a firefighter would say to the comments you see online. You have a long way to go before you can join a team of firefighters, but your journey can start when you act smart and strong online. It’s like having a firefighter writing your posts!

Adults tell you all the time: “Be careful what you post on social media! The Internet is forever!” Teachers say: “When you apply for college, the school might reject you because of all those pictures and mean posts.”

You hear over and over: “People who hire employees will read your history and you might not get the job you want.” You smile, nod, then roll your eyes. Who cares about what happens in five, ten or twenty years?

Someone just made a post that makes you angry—you feel that you must post some angry comment back. You take a picture of yourself drawing a rude image on a neighbor’s fence and snicker as you upload it to your page.

Stop. Take your fingers off your phone or keyboard. What you are told is true. The Internet saves everything you do today. People can see all your posts five, ten and even twenty years from now. People have lost jobs for postings made years before.

If you want to be, say, the boss of a company or a famous dancer or a doctor or mayor of a city, think about that when you post online. A firefighter’s job is to face danger and save lives—would someone like that make mean posts to a little kid?

Would a great engineer type hurtful words to a person who is different from him or her?  Maybe you won’t become a great engineer if you can’t get into college because of mean comments posted when you were a kid.

Think about what you want to be. Imagine reaching your goals. You could dream of being an athlete, a pop star, a carpenter, a zoologist—whatever it is, think about how The Future You would act online. What would a nurse post when a person talks about being in pain?

What would a great world leader do when he or she sees someone being bullied online? If you act like the person you want to grow up to be, you’ll be on the road to being that person.

Now, look at your social media platforms.

Think about what a firefighter would say to the comments you see online. You have a long way to go before you can join a team of firefighters, but your journey can start when you act smart and strong online. It’s like having a firefighter writing your posts!

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