HAMPTON, Va. — Hampton University administrators Dr. Barbara Inman, VP for Administrative Services, and Allie-Ryan Butler, Assistant Dean of the Scripps Howard School of Journalism and Communications, appeared on Norfolk’s WTKR News Channel 3’s morning show “Coast Live” to educate parents on ways to protect young children from predators on social media and teach young adults how to protect their digital footprint.
“It’s very important for parents to keep track of their kids media diet,” said Butler. “We wouldn’t let our kids eat junk food all day, so we need to do the same with our kids for their social media and all their media consumption. The main three (social sites) Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat…parents are pretty aware of those social media sites but they are not really aware of what goes down in the DM” (Direct Messaging).
While Butler spoke to potential private conversations that may transpire amongst children and individuals outside of parental supervision, Inman spoke to the efforts being made by schools and universities in protecting their students and the institution itself from inappropriate behavior on social media.
“It’s very important that universities stay in touch with what’s going on in the world, particularly social media,” said Inman. “As part of the revision to our code of conduct, we added a tenant to promote the responsible use of technology and social media. All of our students must follow the code of conduct and if they don’t they may incur some disciplinary actions. Whatever you put on social media make sure your parents would be proud of, and your university would be proud of as well.”
Despite the anonymity or perceived short life span certain forms of social media tout to users, Butler warned parents and young adults that social media posts never are totally erased.
“Your digital footprint follows you forever,” said Butler. “Every tweet is archived in the Library of Congress, which becomes part of the federal record. Snapchat disappears from your story in 24 hours or from your messages after 10 seconds but Snapchat keeps that database of information, so its never really gone.”