Pause Before You Post

Have you ever read one of those emails that just got under your skin? You know that email or post that just elevated your blood pressure to the point where you felt like your head was going to explode? You then frantically type out a response and hit the send button only to think, “What did I just do?” Well, you are not alone. I, like you, have made that mistake more times than I care to admit. Unfortunately, many hide behind the tools of communication to negatively impact the lives of others and it’s happening way too much.

October is National Anti-Bullying Month. The reason a month is dedicated to anti-bullying
is because of the growing number of students that feel like they have no escape from being bullied so they commit suicide. I don’t know about you, but never in all my years as an educator would I ever have thought it would get to this point. Who is responsible for bullying prevention? Educators? Students? Parents? Community members? Yes! We areall responsible. We make it matter!

I am a strong believer in the use of social media to connect with others personally and professionally. However, with the exponential growth of Facebook and Twitter, camera phones, and the ability to instantly post comments, bullying has become easier and the messages are amplified.

Last spring, our Student Council held Peace Week, which is a week long celebration of what we do to increase peace in schools. The theme was “Peace With Technology” to promote positive use of social media and we implemented the Jostens’ Pause Before You Post™ program. Pause Before You Post is a program to encourage members of the school community to be wise when publishing personal information when using social media. Each day of the week, students watched short video clips then participated in discussions about one’s digital footprint, sexting, and digital citizenship. Students were then encouraged to pledge to Pause Before You Post. It was an awesome week for our school community!  However, we have to continue our efforts to encourage “peace with technology.”

Throughout October, we will expand the Pause Before You Post campaign by conducting the following activities:

*Week 1-Make a general announcement to the student body about the Pause Before You Post Campaign and encourage them to sign the pledge. Even though it wasn’t plan for this month specifically, we held a Facebook 101 class for parents to encourage them to actively get involved in monitoring their child’s behavior on Facebook. We also wanted to increase their knowledge of privacy settings so they are more informed.

*Week 2- Continue to make announcements about the importance of one’s digital footprint and encourage students to sign the pledge.

*Week 3- Highlight all the clubs and activities we have at school to show that we want to create a school where all students feel they belong. The best way to prevent bullying is to create a positive school climate and culture.

*Week 4-We’ll be featuring information on how one’s online profile can impact college acceptance and employment. We’ll also share quotes from top companies and universities along with five tips for improving one’s digital reputation.

Each of us can do our part by simply taking a deep breath to pause before we hit the send button. I constantly share this message with my students, staff, and parents. Please join me and others from across the country and sign the pledge to Pause Before You Post. Each individual effort can make a difference!

Be Great,

Dwight

This is also posted on my blog, Mr. Carter’s Office.

5 comments for “Pause Before You Post

  1. October 9, 2011 at 6:46 pm

    Hello,
    My name is Holly Fore and I am a student at The University of South Alabama in Mobile, AL. I really enjoyed reading you blog. We must realize as teachers how important bullying is and learn to recognize it and put a stop to it. It is a very serious issue and kids are actually hurting themselves because someone is bullying them. I agree that sometimes we don’t think before we type and it is too late. I have done that a time or two. Thanks so much for your post, I really enjoyed it.

  2. Dwight Carter
    October 10, 2011 at 2:46 am

    Holly,

    Thank you for commenting. I really appreciate it. The more we know and are aware, then the better equipped we will be to address these issues when they arise. Good luck in school! Subscribing to the Connected Principals blog and connecting with other educators through social media is an excellent way to take control of your own learning.

    Be Great,

    Dwight

  3. October 23, 2011 at 1:39 pm

    Dear Dwight,
    Thank you for creating such a wonderful site. I do not have “Facebook” however, I am delighted to see that you are sharing such important information on the dangers of putting out words that could impact your future. I do not believe that all children consider this when they send texts, emails etc. I am a firm believer in “Treating others the way you would like to be treated” etc. etc. I am 54 and STILL remember the important lessons my parents taught me. I pray that many, many adults, teenagers and children will access this site. Thank you!! Susan

  4. thom adams
    June 21, 2012 at 11:19 am

    First Self-Actualize: Then Think before you Pause before you Post
    I’ve recently become aware of certain Corporations or Corporation that Advise folks to “Pause before you Post”. Sober advice it would seem on the face of it, since some recent Facebook and other Social networking sites have come under fire due to posts of harassment, vindictiveness, and violent undertones being made by posters to others on their sites.
    But I’m led to wonder if there isn’t a more clandestine message being communicated here, and not necessarily to kids on Social networking sites. Is it, could it be a veiled threat to their own employees and contractors? I say this not a far-fetched idea from some over-thinking; and I’m not some disgruntled ex-employee simply trying to find an angle to embarrass some Corporate machine.
    I say it from my own observation of real life situations, my own gut feeling, and real life experiences.
    It seems that despite the over modulated mantra of “embracing change”, many highly profitable companies, while out-of-date with times and technology, are embracing subtle but effective strategies in attempts to stay relevant without going through the necessary pain of re-tooling, re-inventing, and re-making themselves. The gravy train has gone on for so long they resist the inevitable by using cute slogans as band aids, lying not only to themselves, but to their employees and loyal but disillusioned customers.
    When those on the front lines (particularly their Salesforce and customers) communicate upward what’s going on in the “real” world, Ivory towers are feeling added pressure to come up with ideas that (don’t) answer or provide solutions to the “real” issues. They tire of hearing the “real” truth, which improving on is either too expensive or too radical for a quick fix. They already know the real truth… that the Hindenburg has struck an iceberg and is taking on water fast.
    Their job has become to keep the band playing as long as they can.
    “Pause before Posting” might just be another way to say, “Don’t bitch to us anymore. We don’t want to hear it. There’s nothing we can do about it.”
    And those unlucky but honest souls who do not heed this warning are reminded to STFU, else they and their familes may be on unemployment sooner than if hoping to get on a lifeboat in those dark icy waters of an uncertain future.
    This strategy is not new. It keeps many lost souls in line much longer, much like the Roman Catholic Church once did after the disintegration of the Roman Empire. Remember those days? Some call them the Dark Ages.
    So, what should one do? It’s been my experience (but not necessarily good fortune) to “Think before I Pause before I Post”.
    This means being honest and forthright, straightforward, with an acute sense of propriety which needs no pause, which flows forth in a post that sometimes offends those who most need offending.
    Unfortunately, those same people are sometimes the fat slobs who have back stabbed and back patted their way to the top, and get riled when their lazy unconcern for the rest of the people who work hard at their business question their decisions. Fat slobs can be powerful foes.
    It’s a double edged sword, no doubt. But, for me… I’d rather like who I see in the mirror despite the negative notch that will inevitably be scratched before my name; when I post before I pause. I feel good being blatantly honest when I’m sure about my convictions, and when they proceed from honest analysis.
    Perhaps I’m self-actualized enough not to care about the possibilities financial devastation of getting fired can bring. Maybe Im just being irresponsible to my family, whom I know will suffer my consequences.
    But, I know who I am and always will be. I’ve always had a sneaky feeling that some people know that I know who they are too, and it scares them. Some of them are fat slobs.
    I’m not afraid.
    I say to you: Post what you actually believe is true and will benefit the Corporation or others by recognizing that truth is sacred. Remember, everyone has their own agenda and try to recognize such. If they don’t like what you have to say, allow them post you back saying as much and perhaps providing additional insight. Don’t pause… post. Timing may be of the essence. Never be intimidated by a simple slogan that subtley hints that your complaints aren’t acceptable. You are likely to be more right than wrong when you Post with conviction, not pause.
    “Pause before you Post”? A Trojan horse or wise admonition wearing a pretty dress? Make your own call… but my money is on the former, and I don’t just think it, I feel it in my bones. I know how it works.

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