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Thursday, June 25, 2009

Scarborough Middle School Talks

On Tuesday, I spoke to the middle school students in Scarborough. They were divided into two groups. The principal, Joanne Sizemore was just pleased I could do the talks, even though the last day of school was the next day.

Pam Joy, from Fairpoint Communications came to hear me speak, not only as a parent (she has three kids in middle school), but also to see how I did my presentations for a collaboration with Fairpoint in the fall. She had some folks from their marketing department come as well.

The first talk went well, and as usual, when I showed what I found out about *them* on Facebook and Myspace, the auditorium quieted right down.

Here's what I found on Facebook:

85 were asked to be a friend of my alter ego
81 approved my alter ego as a friend; 4 never responded
5 asked to be my friend (without me requesting it) for a total of 86
Only 1 asked who I was, but still approved me
62% were boys; 38% girls
Over 75% are current middle school students
50% list their cell phone number in their profile - 60% of those were boys
5 boys and 2 girls also listed their home phone
60% list their AIM screen name
96% list an email address (sometimes two)
2 girls listed their home address

Then on Myspace:

50 profiles were looked at
Half were boys/half were girls
Just over half marked their profiles private
25% were boys
75% were girls
But 12 listed their first and last name as their profile name or in their profile
And most of those were Private Profiles

And the photos. Oy. Middle fingers, drinking what appears to be beer out of a bottle, seductive shots - we're talking 13 & 14 year olds here. It's bad enough when the high school students do it, then you have them putting up this crap when they're younger.

I think it got through to them that sexting can put you in jail and on the sex offender registry because it's child porn; that they could ruin their chances of a summer/after school job or admission to the university/college they want to go to because of what they post online.

What was interesting was finding out only six of the students removed my alter ego from their friends list. The comments on their status updates on Facebook were interesting:

Jeri: who is that weird woman from internet safty on face book!!!! i want to confront her, about like being a creeper.

Kassandra: did anyone find out who that speaker's facebook was? aha, its kinda bugging me.

Samantha at 4:41pm June 23
nope. she's not telling people becuz it's pretty much forcing the students to delete anybody they don't kno

Kassandra at 4:54pm June 23
hmm, okay. (: like seriously this bugged me, then when she showed pictures i was scared i was gnna be up there. but i only add people if they have a lot of mutual friends wit me.

Samantha at 4:56pm June 23
but thats one of the points she was trying to make. 81 people excepted a request from somebody who doesn't even exist...

Grace at 4:56pm June 23
Me too I was on that slide show haha

Kassandra at 4:58pm June 23
haha, wow. is she your friend
i think its kinda embarrssing if she just had like you up there.

Samantha at 5:02pm June 23
guys! just delete all the people u don't kno!

Kassandra at 5:05pm June 23
well jenny sora's faceboook pic is weirrd.. ahahha

Grace at 5:22pm June 23
Haha I was up there when it showed 6 of the friends of certain people

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Ralph: you know those school presentations where they try to scare you from the internet and use others facebook's to make examples and your just HOPING that it won't be you, I was that guy today, my entire ensemble was on the big screen with my face blacked out drinkin root beer ahahah.

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Amanda kinda knows how it feels to be miley cyrus now.....

Alexandrea at 10:30pm June 23
.... are you talking about inappropiate pictures missy??

Amanda at 10:55pm June 23
or what middle schoolers would find "provocative"

Alexandrea at 10:57pm June 23
uh oh. and what are these pictures that you speak of? do they show off your massive derriere?

Tori at 10:57pm June 23
omg. yeah i heard about that :(

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So it's a deal with Fairpoint. Over the summer we'll work out the details, but they are going to pay me to speak at schools in the fall, as many as three a week. Which is a big phew! Money has been really tight and if we can make it to September, we'll be okay.

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