When Nicole Sliger sees Fegely Middle School students using a social media app she’s never heard of, Sliger said she makes her own friends download and try it with her so she can figure out how it works.
A big chunk of her job as a home school adivser at the school is dealing with social media, she said, whether it’s addressing issues between students on apps or trying to warn them of the dangers that come along with them.
Social media is “not going anywhere,” Sliger said, and “we have to teach our kids how to use it appropriately,” she said, because “it’s serious.”
A 14-year-old girl from Lake County went missing last month after meeting an older man on a social media app, Kik, according to investigators. The girl was found safe a few days later in Ohio and has since returned home to her family, but three men are facing federal charges in connection with the incident.
Whenever Tony and Jennifer Elizondo, of Portage, hear of something similar on the news or in the area, they talk to their 14-year-old twins, Madison and Mason, about it. Teens can think something like an app is “a small thing, but it can affect your life forever,” said Tony Elizondo, 44.
The Elizondos have some rules for their children: no Facebook or Snapchat.
While Tony Elizondo thinks there are good intentions with Facebook, some children get bullied on it, he said.
“I’ve seen adults get in full blown arguments and fights, and there’s just so much controversy on there that if it can get in between adult relationships and ruin those, then kids are so much more vulnerable,” Jennifer Elizondo, 39, said.
The parents said they are wary of Snapchat because of its feature where photos and messages “disappear” after being viewed, so there’s no way to know what their children are sending.
Snapchat is the most popular app Sliger said she sees students using, which Madison and Mason confirmed. People have this “false…