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Is Your Social Media Profile the Real You?

social media facebook itentity

Think back to when you made your social media profile. You typed in your age, some basic information about yourself, the music you liked and the movies you enjoyed. This became part of the You that the world could see on line anytime. And, chances are, that ‘You’ isn’t totally real.

Recent studies have found that most Facebook users misrepresent at least some part of their profile. One common bit of information likely to be untrue is the user’s age. Young users tend to make themselves out to be older than they really are. Facebook has a policy that users under the age of 13 cannot be members. An estimated 80% of kids under the age of 13 have a Facebook account,* which means that all those kids have false information in their profile.

In many instances, these profiles are done with parents’ permission and monitoring, allowing children to keep in touch with distant relatives and close, trusted friends. As these children get older, few change their ages back, preferring instead to be considered “older” and “more mature.” That means that you could be chatting with someone you think is, say, 18, when that boy or girl could be only fifteen, if not younger.

Some people give themselves a younger age. This can be vanity–or a way to make a younger person feel more comfortable talking to them online. By appearing younger in a Facebook profile, little children are more likely to share plans and activities, helping make them an easy target for predators.

Another way people are likely to misrepresent themselves on social media is by downplaying negative parts of their lives and exaggerating the good stuff. This is easy to understand. Many people are embarrassed to tell others when life doesn’t go their way. All of us want others to think the best of us and look at us in a good light. Suppose that you raved on Facebook about how well a team try-out or a date went, when in reality you feel disappointed. Your friends might congratulate you, which could make you feel even worse when you don’t make the team.

In reality, your life is your business. Being completely honest about every little feeling you have can be wearing on both you and your friends. Imagine posting every thought, every move, every activity and every little thing you do, from washing your face to putting on your shoes. You decide what is important enough to post.

Many people make a habit out of keeping their social media simple and basic. They post birthday messages and social activities that are already common knowledge. Personal information is shared only with personal, real friends. After all, what you do in your real life is the real you.

* READ our recent article on NIMBLE NUMBERS. After reading that, you might find yourself asking about how truthful the 80% number is. The question you should be asking is, “Where did that number come from?” In this case, the 80% figure came from a Consumer Report survey published on pcworld.com, both sources known for being fair and accurate.

Think back to when you made your social media profile. You typed in your age, some basic information about yourself, the music you liked and the movies you enjoyed. This became part of the You that the world could see on line anytime. And, chances are, that ‘You’ isn’t totally real.

Recent studies have found that most Facebook users misrepresent at least some part of their profile. One common bit of information likely to be untrue is the user’s age. Young users tend to make themselves out to be older than they really are. Facebook has a policy that users under the age of 13 cannot be members. An estimated 80% of kids under the age of 13 have a Facebook account,* which means that all those kids have false information in their profile.

In many instances, these profiles are done with parents’ permission and monitoring, allowing children to keep in touch with distant relatives and close, trusted friends. As these children get older, few change their ages back, preferring instead to be considered “older” and “more mature.” That means that you could be chatting with someone you think is, say, 18, when that boy or girl could be only fifteen, if not younger.

Some people give themselves a younger age. This can be vanity–or a way to make a younger person feel more comfortable talking to them online. By appearing younger in a Facebook profile, little children are more likely to share plans and activities, helping make them an easy target for predators.

Another way people are likely to misrepresent themselves on social media is by downplaying negative parts of their lives and exaggerating the good stuff. This is easy to understand. Many people are embarrassed to tell others when life doesn’t go their way. All of us want others to think the best of us and look at us in a good light. Suppose that you raved on Facebook about how well a team try-out or a date went, when in reality you feel disappointed. Your friends might congratulate you, which could make you feel even worse when you don’t make the team.

In reality, your life is your business. Being completely honest about every little feeling you have can be wearing on both you and your friends. Imagine posting every thought, every move, every activity and every little thing you do, from washing your face to putting on your shoes. You decide what is important enough to post.

Many people make a habit out of keeping their social media simple and basic. They post birthday messages and social activities that are already common knowledge. Personal information is shared only with personal, real friends. After all, what you do in your real life is the real you.

* READ our recent article on NIMBLE NUMBERS. After reading that, you might find yourself asking about how truthful the 80% number is. The question you should be asking is, “Where did that number come from?” In this case, the 80% figure came from a Consumer Report survey published on pcworld.com, both sources known for being fair and accurate.

The Ultimate University Guide for Parents

Parents Guide to Preparing Students for University

Now that university is back in full swing, you will have noticed students in every corner of the city. This may instill some fear into you, especially if your child is in their last year of school and planning to head to university. You may have some worries about them leaving or home, or whether they will get a place in the university of their dreams.

Whatever the case, you need to start preparing for your child’s future in university, as this move will affect them as well as you. Take a look at these tips which will help you assist your child with the next step of their education.

One of the hardest decisions your child will have to make is which university course is right for them, as this will define their future career. Parents tend to have a big say on this, as some would prefer their child to stay closer to home, while others are adamant that their offspring will attend a prestigious university. Both can offer your child clouded judgement, as they may end up at university they don’t enjoy or take on a course that provides them with little to no job opportunities.

Choosing a Course

Instead, you and your child should conduct thorough research on UCAS where you can look into subjects that he or she finds enjoyable or will excel at, while also taking note of the employment prospects. You should avoid just focusing on the course overview, as this will only provide you with a generalized description.

Most universities lay out each module for individual courses to help the potential students decide if its right for them, and whether the entry requirements suit them. If they can relate to any of the skills or experience mentioned on the course, they can use this to their advantage in their personal statement. Before making a final decision, you should try to choose three universities where you can attend open days with your child to help them choose up to five universities to apply for.

The Application Process

After researching courses and selecting the top five universities, you can then commence with the UCAS application. This consists of everything from your child’s education to work experience, along with a personal statement of 4,000 characters which is used to promote your child’s key skills, knowledge and work experience in support of their application. Once it has been sent off, your child will receive a notification whether they have an offer. If they receive a conditional offer, they will have to wait until they receive their results to find out, whereas if they are granted an unconditional offer, they will have secured a place immediately.

If your child is lucky enough to be approved of all five, they must decide which university is right for them and decline the remaining four. This is a hard decision to make, so make sure you and your child sit down and discuss their options before confirming where they want to attend. Don’t worry if your child does not get any of their choices, as there is always the opportunity to get place through Clearing, which enables students to find a last-minute course that aligns with their grades.

Funding Options

Once your child’s place at university is secure you can then start looking into finances. The majority of students tend to receive funding from student finance, where they can apply for living expenses and tuition fees, which are now charged a standard rate of £9,250. Your child may receive a maintenance loan or grant, but this will all depend on your income, as student finance takes into account the parents or guardians financial situation and their ability to support their child.

So basically, the less you earn the more financial support your child will get. You must input all the right information when applying for student finance, as the application may be rejected if the information is incorrect. Make sure you do not take too long with this, as the deadline is around May or June time, and if you do not submit in time, your child’s financial aid will be severely delayed.

Finding the Right Accommodation

Some parents wait to see how much their child is awarded before they can find somewhere for them live, while this is financial responsibility it can actually result in slim pickings. The majority of first-year students living in student halls, however, others do opt for private student accommodation. Some of the best purpose-built student accommodation is located in central areas, such as the RW Invest developments which are located next to some of the UK’s top universities. These provide students with comfortable and sociable living spaces, which include high-quality bedrooms, common area and even gym facilities.

Now that university is back in full swing, you will have noticed students in every corner of the city. This may instill some fear into you, especially if your child is in their last year of school and planning to head to university. You may have some worries about them leaving or home, or whether they will get a place in the university of their dreams.

Whatever the case, you need to start preparing for your child’s future in university, as this move will affect them as well as you. Take a look at these tips which will help you assist your child with the next step of their education.

One of the hardest decisions your child will have to make is which university course is right for them, as this will define their future career. Parents tend to have a big say on this, as some would prefer their child to stay closer to home, while others are adamant that their offspring will attend a prestigious university. Both can offer your child clouded judgement, as they may end up at university they don’t enjoy or take on a course that provides them with little to no job opportunities.

Choosing a Course

Instead, you and your child should conduct thorough research on UCAS where you can look into subjects that he or she finds enjoyable or will excel at, while also taking note of the employment prospects. You should avoid just focusing on the course overview, as this will only provide you with a generalized description.

Most universities lay out each module for individual courses to help the potential students decide if its right for them, and whether the entry requirements suit them. If they can relate to any of the skills or experience mentioned on the course, they can use this to their advantage in their personal statement. Before making a final decision, you should try to choose three universities where you can attend open days with your child to help them choose up to five universities to apply for.

The Application Process

After researching courses and selecting the top five universities, you can then commence with the UCAS application. This consists of everything from your child’s education to work experience, along with a personal statement of 4,000 characters which is used to promote your child’s key skills, knowledge and work experience in support of their application. Once it has been sent off, your child will receive a notification whether they have an offer. If they receive a conditional offer, they will have to wait until they receive their results to find out, whereas if they are granted an unconditional offer, they will have secured a place immediately.

If your child is lucky enough to be approved of all five, they must decide which university is right for them and decline the remaining four. This is a hard decision to make, so make sure you and your child sit down and discuss their options before confirming where they want to attend. Don’t worry if your child does not get any of their choices, as there is always the opportunity to get place through Clearing, which enables students to find a last-minute course that aligns with their grades.

Funding Options

Once your child’s place at university is secure you can then start looking into finances. The majority of students tend to receive funding from student finance, where they can apply for living expenses and tuition fees, which are now charged a standard rate of £9,250. Your child may receive a maintenance loan or grant, but this will all depend on your income, as student finance takes into account the parents or guardians financial situation and their ability to support their child.

So basically, the less you earn the more financial support your child will get. You must input all the right information when applying for student finance, as the application may be rejected if the information is incorrect. Make sure you do not take too long with this, as the deadline is around May or June time, and if you do not submit in time, your child’s financial aid will be severely delayed.

Finding the Right Accommodation

Some parents wait to see how much their child is awarded before they can find somewhere for them live, while this is financial responsibility it can actually result in slim pickings. The majority of first-year students living in student halls, however, others do opt for private student accommodation. Some of the best purpose-built student accommodation is located in central areas, such as the RW Invest developments which are located next to some of the UK’s top universities. These provide students with comfortable and sociable living spaces, which include high-quality bedrooms, common area and even gym facilities.

The Benefits of a STEM Education

Benefits of Stem Education

In a job economy driven by rapidly changing technology, it’s more important than ever that our schools foster a love of learning. Starting our students on a steady dose of STEM curriculum in elementary primes them to become the inquisitive kiddos that lead to ambitious adults.

What does STEM stand for?

For anyone who’s seen the term STEM, but kept it on the periphery, here’s a bit of background. The acronym stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math. Recently “arts” was added to the educational model, making STEAM an interchangeable term you might also hear.

In school, STEM or STEAM lessons are taught using an integrative approach that shows how each subject relates to and works with the others. This interdisciplinary instruction also closely mirrors how these concept applications function in the working world.

Educational Benefits of STEM

The sooner our students are exposed to STEM activities the better. During the elementary years, when their synapses are most impressionable, youngsters have an innate drive toward curiosity. STEAM programming prioritizes and encourages this curiosity, making lessons easier to internalize.

By making it accessible to anyone, STEM education benefits everyone in the classroom by:

  • Reducing lesson and testing anxiety. The principles of STEM diminish stress by putting the focus on the student’s ability to learn and grow, encouraging a belief in oneself.
  • Making it okay to fail. Our mistakes are powerful teachers. When the environment is safe and welcoming, students don’t fear punishment of failure and learn to view it as an opportunity to simply explore or try new things.
  • Prioritizing the 4 C’s. No matter their age, whatever their job title, they’re going to need to know how to interact well with others. STEAM helps develop the necessary 21st-century learning skills including creativity, collaboration, critical thinking, and communication.
  • Helping them apply meaning. STEM curriculum is engaging and motivates students to think through real world-inspired scenarios. Taught in this way, the concepts make more sense and students are able to understand the value and purpose. This depth of knowledge also leads to a greater understanding of each pillar.

STEM Career Opportunities

According to the STEM Diversity at the University of Wisconsin Madison,“By 2018, it’s predicted that 8.65 million STEM jobs will exist. Nevertheless, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there will be a drastic shortage of almost 600,000 potential candidates for those jobs.”

So job security is almost guaranteed, but pursuing a STEM career doesn’t necessarily mean students will automatically be chained to a MIT laboratory or relegated to Silicon Valley. STEM is everywhere, permeating just about every fathomable industry.

Contrary to some of the stereotypes, STEM-led disciplines include everything from product development for the fashion industry to Legoland Designer! (And what little boy wouldn’t leap out of his chair for that job?!)

In short, there’s no better way to equip students for their life journey than to turn them into lifelong learners. Once they master this skill, there’s no realm, be it higher education or the real world, which they can’t conquer.

 AUTHOR BIO:

Dave Monaco has worked in education for 24 years and counting. He has put his M.A.T. to great use as the Head of School at Parish Episcopal School and helps Parish live out their mission to guide young people to become creative learners and bold leaders who will impact our global society. With his philosophy to “engage the mind, connect to the heart,” this father of three will continue bringing order to chaos one day at a time.

In a job economy driven by rapidly changing technology, it’s more important than ever that our schools foster a love of learning. Starting our students on a steady dose of STEM curriculum in elementary primes them to become the inquisitive kiddos that lead to ambitious adults.

What does STEM stand for?

For anyone who’s seen the term STEM, but kept it on the periphery, here’s a bit of background. The acronym stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math. Recently “arts” was added to the educational model, making STEAM an interchangeable term you might also hear.

In school, STEM or STEAM lessons are taught using an integrative approach that shows how each subject relates to and works with the others. This interdisciplinary instruction also closely mirrors how these concept applications function in the working world.

Educational Benefits of STEM

The sooner our students are exposed to STEM activities the better. During the elementary years, when their synapses are most impressionable, youngsters have an innate drive toward curiosity. STEAM programming prioritizes and encourages this curiosity, making lessons easier to internalize.

By making it accessible to anyone, STEM education benefits everyone in the classroom by:

  • Reducing lesson and testing anxiety. The principles of STEM diminish stress by putting the focus on the student’s ability to learn and grow, encouraging a belief in oneself.
  • Making it okay to fail. Our mistakes are powerful teachers. When the environment is safe and welcoming, students don’t fear punishment of failure and learn to view it as an opportunity to simply explore or try new things.
  • Prioritizing the 4 C’s. No matter their age, whatever their job title, they’re going to need to know how to interact well with others. STEAM helps develop the necessary 21st-century learning skills including creativity, collaboration, critical thinking, and communication.
  • Helping them apply meaning. STEM curriculum is engaging and motivates students to think through real world-inspired scenarios. Taught in this way, the concepts make more sense and students are able to understand the value and purpose. This depth of knowledge also leads to a greater understanding of each pillar.

STEM Career Opportunities

According to the STEM Diversity at the University of Wisconsin Madison,“By 2018, it’s predicted that 8.65 million STEM jobs will exist. Nevertheless, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there will be a drastic shortage of almost 600,000 potential candidates for those jobs.”

So job security is almost guaranteed, but pursuing a STEM career doesn’t necessarily mean students will automatically be chained to a MIT laboratory or relegated to Silicon Valley. STEM is everywhere, permeating just about every fathomable industry.

Contrary to some of the stereotypes, STEM-led disciplines include everything from product development for the fashion industry to Legoland Designer! (And what little boy wouldn’t leap out of his chair for that job?!)

In short, there’s no better way to equip students for their life journey than to turn them into lifelong learners. Once they master this skill, there’s no realm, be it higher education or the real world, which they can’t conquer.

 AUTHOR BIO:

Dave Monaco has worked in education for 24 years and counting. He has put his M.A.T. to great use as the Head of School at Parish Episcopal School and helps Parish live out their mission to guide young people to become creative learners and bold leaders who will impact our global society. With his philosophy to “engage the mind, connect to the heart,” this father of three will continue bringing order to chaos one day at a time.

How to Use the Internet Safely

Tips for Safe Internet Use

We spend a lot of time online these days. It’s how we communicate, shop, find directions, and more. But the internet is a complicated place, and it’s possible to run into trouble online if you aren’t careful. Since knowing is half the battle, we’ve got some basic security tips to help keep you safe while you’re online.

1. Use the right type of internet connection

Not all internet connections are the same, and the type of connection you’re on can have a big impact on your safety and security. There are several different types of internet connections that you might run into:

  • Private Wi-Fi. This network or hotspot requires a password to access it.
  • Public Wi-Fi. This network either has no password or the password is posted for anyone to find.
  • Mobile internet. This is the LTE or 5G connection your phone uses. Mobile internet doesn’t require a password, but it’s more secure than public Wi-Fi because your data is generally encrypted for safety.
  • Satellite internet. Satellite internet uses satellites to send signals, instead of underground cables or towers. This network is most common in rural areas.

Since anyone can connect to a public network, it’s possible for people to see what you’re doing online, access your devices, or steal your personal information. If you’re using a public network, never enter any passwords or other private information.

2. Always know who you’re talking to

Avoid sharing personal information with strangers. Don’t accept friend requests from people you don’t know on social media. It’s also a good idea to go through your friends and followers every once in a while, and remove anyone you don’t recognize or trust.

Why? The people you’re friends with can see any personal information you share, like addresses. You don’t want strangers knowing where you’re at. In fact, it’s a good idea to not post your address or location at all. If you need to share it, do so in a private message or text.

3. Don’t open anything from a stranger

Knowing what you can trust online is important. One of the oldest internet safety rules is to never open anything from someone you don’t know. This situation is one of the most common ways to get infected with a computer virus. This tip goes for email attachments, links in text messages, and AirDrops from strangers. To go a step further, set your AirDrop settings to Contacts Only so random strangers can’t send you things you don’t want.

4. Talk to an adult about anything strange you see on the internet

If you come across anything that makes you uncomfortable or suspicious, don’t be afraid to quickly leave the web page and share about it with an adult you trust. You should be open and honest about what you see on the internet, and asking someone about it won’t get you in trouble.

The internet is such a part of our lives that it can be easy to forget that we need to be careful. These basics will go a long way toward keeping you safe so you can relax and get the most out of your time online.

Safe Search Kids Victoria Schmid enjoys writing about technology for the “everyday” person. She is a specialist in online business marketing and consumer technology. She has a background in broadcast journalism.


Want to learn more about internet safety? Dig a little deeper into How to Know What to Trust Online.

We spend a lot of time online these days. It’s how we communicate, shop, find directions, and more. But the internet is a complicated place, and it’s possible to run into trouble online if you aren’t careful. Since knowing is half the battle, we’ve got some basic security tips to help keep you safe while you’re online.

1. Use the right type of internet connection

Not all internet connections are the same, and the type of connection you’re on can have a big impact on your safety and security. There are several different types of internet connections that you might run into:

  • Private Wi-Fi. This network or hotspot requires a password to access it.
  • Public Wi-Fi. This network either has no password or the password is posted for anyone to find.
  • Mobile internet. This is the LTE or 5G connection your phone uses. Mobile internet doesn’t require a password, but it’s more secure than public Wi-Fi because your data is generally encrypted for safety.
  • Satellite internet. Satellite internet uses satellites to send signals, instead of underground cables or towers. This network is most common in rural areas.

Since anyone can connect to a public network, it’s possible for people to see what you’re doing online, access your devices, or steal your personal information. If you’re using a public network, never enter any passwords or other private information.

2. Always know who you’re talking to

Avoid sharing personal information with strangers. Don’t accept friend requests from people you don’t know on social media. It’s also a good idea to go through your friends and followers every once in a while, and remove anyone you don’t recognize or trust.

Why? The people you’re friends with can see any personal information you share, like addresses. You don’t want strangers knowing where you’re at. In fact, it’s a good idea to not post your address or location at all. If you need to share it, do so in a private message or text.

3. Don’t open anything from a stranger

Knowing what you can trust online is important. One of the oldest internet safety rules is to never open anything from someone you don’t know. This situation is one of the most common ways to get infected with a computer virus. This tip goes for email attachments, links in text messages, and AirDrops from strangers. To go a step further, set your AirDrop settings to Contacts Only so random strangers can’t send you things you don’t want.

4. Talk to an adult about anything strange you see on the internet

If you come across anything that makes you uncomfortable or suspicious, don’t be afraid to quickly leave the web page and share about it with an adult you trust. You should be open and honest about what you see on the internet, and asking someone about it won’t get you in trouble.

The internet is such a part of our lives that it can be easy to forget that we need to be careful. These basics will go a long way toward keeping you safe so you can relax and get the most out of your time online.

Safe Search Kids Victoria Schmid enjoys writing about technology for the “everyday” person. She is a specialist in online business marketing and consumer technology. She has a background in broadcast journalism.


Want to learn more about internet safety? Dig a little deeper into How to Know What to Trust Online.