The Disservice of Teaching from Fear

The more I visit and speak with students, parents, faculty and administrators about the power, influence and reach of social media in their lives, the more I’m convinced that doing social the right way changes many things for the better.

I’ve addressed audiences recently in Alliston, Cambridge, Toronto (St. Mike’s College), Oakville, Richmond Hill (HTS) and Peterborough. And in every school people are the same; they crave education on how to increase their skills to be and do better, and to make a difference. Which brings me to this; to teach from the perspective of fear, risk and shocking loss is a total disservice. Especially when addressing parents. This is a cohort that already is, for the most part, dreadfully fearful and confused about social media and social networking. To add to that fear only elevates parents to the point of online paralysis. They literally are more freaked out about social media and the online world than they were when they walked in. They then extend that fear to their kids. And everybody loses.

In closing, and a challenge; I ran a parent roundtable recently solely on Snapchat. There was me, my iPhone, an Apple TV, projector, 12 parents – and Snapchat. Apple TV gave me the freedom to not be tethered and to sit with each person as they required. We laughed (a lot), and they learned, deeply. In the end, there’s now a dozen 40-something (and one 50-something) Snapchat evangelists walking among us who can’t wait to share their usernames and Snap Stories with friends. But when they walked into the session, Snapchat to them was only a basement-grade, high-risk sexting app and a “why would anyone waste their time taking disappearing photos” vacuous experience.

The Challenge; go ahead and open a Snapchat account. Now dig deep, past the first screen to Live Stories and the Discover screen. Go to the site Snapchat Codes to find influential Snapchatters. Or, simply ask folks you meet what their Snapchat name is. You might be pleasantly surprised. Oh, and when you do, Add Me on Snapchat. I’d love to see the evolution of your stories.

Add me!

Happy Snapping!

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