Wht it is? An important tool for most of our kids who are at the lower end of the social skills scale.
In a dream world we would instinctively know what to say and what not to say on a social website. These social websites include facebook (FB), Myspace, Bebo and others. They are used for business, catching up with family and friends and to play games on.
I like going mindless and playing a game or two. A while back I was ill with pneumonia and I built up several amazing farms and a really cool kitchen......while catching up with family and friends. When my life changed so did my social networking site choices. Rather than fool with 3 or more I have worked my way down to several.
Learning to USE these things as a tool in career and employment has been a learning process.
This is NOT something the kids are going to learn at school, unfortunately. It is a thing they have to learn at home. Using the social media, like Twitter, and the social websites sounds like something out of a magazine or movie. It isn't. For families like us it is a real deal thing. We have to teach the boy appropriateness, and more importantly, he has to learn it for himself.
Several weeks ago the boy had posted something. I am not going to delineate it here, but if you are on his social media you know what it is. It made me sad, but it also made me so angry I could have spit nickels. Why say it here? Why mention that? SHHHHH.
Then I went back to the phrase, "Keeping secrets means other people can treat you like shit." (OK it's a Penelope Trunk paraphrase).....so for him he felt like he needed to say it, he got it out there....he got support from family (which we all appreciated) AND he learned that wearing his heart on his sleeve on a social media site doesn't work well for people his age.
Emotions, unless it is their own is not necessarily a positive thing. Compassion is not there- just like with an Aspie (it is all "I, me, my").
Fortunately for us we have great family that rallied and did support the boy and he did appreciate it. However, learning to be appropriate on something that is searchable is a really tough thing. How many times do we hear about kids who are doing stupid things that get out of control because they didn't know people would show up....hello what planet are you from exactly? Doing this by trial and error just doesn't work and our Aspie's especially need to know what to do and how to do it. The boy doesn't get on there often and I know when he does it either works or it doesn't it just depends.
I will say that I think there should be a class JUST in social networking. Teaching HOW to use it....what to post and when to keep your pictures OFF the computer. Teaching how to shake hands, or how to meet and greet, well FYI, most of these kids can do that already...they choose NOT to do it so lets do something else now that is useful. The current class he had, I think it might have been called Information Processing was the biggest waste of time ever. These kids HAVE COMPUTERS and know how to use them. Don't waste their time with this kind of class that is not relevant to what they need at school and life.Learning to type a business letter is fine; most progressive businesses have their form letters pre-done- all you need is your name and address and if you have it working correctly you don't need to type that in either.
These kids NEED to learn what to do on Social Networking sites....HOW to make comments and what to say and what NOT TO SAY.....How to set it up and make it private....how to be unsearchable . What is private and what is public.....THIS is what they need to know. Not the Tweedle-dum Tweedle-dee thing. Their are jobs, opportunities and friends that can work their way OUTSIDE of what is on the computer....it takes skills, some saavy and all of that can be taught....