“The Dangers Of Using Social Media Negatively”

August 5, 2015

The Family Centre is speaking out against the “dangers of using social media negatively,” saying we “have seen an escalation in the proliferation of videotaped inappropriate behavior”, and urging parents to be vigilant about their children as well as reminding the wider community that “everyone has a role to play in strengthening our Bermuda community.”

These comments follow after a video of two young people apparently engaging in sexual activities in public at Cup Match was widely circulated via email and social media, as well as multiple past cases of videos circulating showing fights and other inappropriate behaviors.

Martha Dismont, Executive Director of Family Centre, states: “Our community is struggling to return to financial stability and independence, a healthy sense of relationship and emotional well-being, physical health, and dignified employment.

“During these very challenging times, we as a community of people, regardless of the event of the America’s Cup, the bustling of increased tourism, increased real estate values, and more construction jobs, must believe that we are living day-to-day with an increased sense of self-esteem and self-worth, opportunity for improved quality of life, a drive and passion to better ourselves and our young family members, because we feel that we have equal and fair opportunities for betterment in our own community. “

She went on to say, “In recent weeks, we have seen an escalation in the proliferation of videotaped inappropriate behavior and the real question about the behavior is “how well are we doing emotionally as a community, and what can we do to mitigate the dangers associated with social media, and utilize social media for the strengths that it brings?

“There is no value in circulating inappropriate behavior of any kind, particularly at this point in our community when emotional well-being is a stretch for so many.

“If we are, or want to be a more caring community, we must become keenly aware of the actual emotional trauma and damage experienced, and the after affects when something like this occurs in our very small and very relational community.

“The goal here is not to dwell on what has been circulated, but how to begin a dialogue of healing and increased social and emotional caring for each other. What are the dangers of using social media negatively?”

  • Online information and images can live forever
  • It is very difficult to take down something that has been posted, and it is likely to be re-posted in other unknown spaces
  • Sensitive information can be transmitted unawares
  • Anyone in the world can access what is posted online
  • College admission boards are often checking social networking sites before they admit students
  • Increased emotional damage as a result of friends, family, and the community seeing inappropriate behaviors

Director of Services, Dr. Sandy DeSilva, stated: “We need to, as parents and guardians of our children, stop for a moment and really talk to our sons and daughters about how to be a teenager in this world of Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Tumblr, Twitter, YouTube etc.

“The world is not the same as it once was for teens or parents. Parents used to know who their children’s friends were, because they were introduced in person not by Whatsapp. The summer has seen the usual surge in videos and photos of teens engaged in inappropriate and most importantly, unsafe, behaviours going viral.

“This has unfortunately for many become a norm, almost as it “if it was not video-taped, then it did not happen.” However, the ripple effects of our shrinking privacy in this ever-changing technological world go far beyond what any parent or child may ever be able to envision.

“Hence, we urge parents to be vigilant about their sons and daughters, particularly during unstructured times. Ask them where they are going, who they will be hanging out with, discuss with them your family values and why you hold them.”

She furthered advised, “Discuss what friends, images, apps and other content are on their phones and ask questions so that a phone is no longer the Berlin wall between a parents and their child.

“Set clear rules about your child’s usage of social media. Explain how sharing passwords could open children up to someone else posting embarrassing and damaging information on your child’s pages. Set up a time to talk daily with your children about their communications.”

Mrs. Dismont concluded with: “Our community needs to get through this very difficult economic environment and we need positive elements of this community to come forth in order for this to be achieved.

“I am asking everyone to consider the healing that is needed for our youth, their parents and relatives, and I am asking that young people rise to the occasion to help our community to understand what it means to be more loving and caring.

“Everyone has a role to play in strengthening our Bermuda community. We will not be in any position to take advantage of any aspect of the America’s Cup gift to this community if we do not start with caring much more for each other and the tough times that we are facing.

“Let’s focus more on the positive aspects of healing and bettering ourselves through pursuit of more healthy activity and interaction.”

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Comments (13)

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  1. Blueberry Bangbelly says:

    Negative ANYthing is to be avoided.

  2. Seriously? says:

    This all goes without saying. However, to equate ANY of this to “taking advantage of the America’s Cup gift” is absolutely ridiculous. Parents need to take responsibility for their kids. The damn America’s Cup has nothing to do with it — boy, what a stretch.

    • Serious Though says:

      American Cup SHOULD not be the standard period: Personal responsibility should be the standard. The ONLY best option, Don’t act up in Public Period anywhere on EARTH video cameras..

  3. Terry says:

    The sixth paragraph of this posting by BERNEWS speaks volumes.

    Sharing media/comments with those that know your “handle”.

    It’s all about me and my friends and I want to be first because I can because we are the new era.

    The age of the new ‘Error’.


  4. Sigh says:

    This really goes without saying but parents should be aware of what their children are into on social media. But why does EVERYTHING have to revolve around the Americas Cup?!!! This drives me nuts. Children are sending around videos and pictures and ppl are worried about the Americas Cup. DO BETTER

  5. Name and Bert Date says:

    The people who record the vidoes should use their phones to call the police instead, to me they are worse than the subjects in the videos! – Two Fools, One America’s Cup! ;-)

  6. #Confused says:

    Whilst I appreciate the article and the message, I am confused!

    Should we not as parents and this organization be focusing on the behaviors of children and their actions. These teenagers that are being filmed are acting inappropriately, engaging in sex and fights, is the end result of bad parenting and lack of morals in the home and community. Before we speak to our children about Social media, we need to speak to them about respect for themselves and their bodies. – Children should be taught to be respectful at all times…….social media is not the monster in the room…..bad parenting is……period

    • Regina says:

      Absolutely! How about instead of teaching our kids not to share things on social media, we teach them not to have sex in public?

      And seriously, bring AC into this? Really Family Center? Really, that’s what you think is important here? Wow. Eye opening, Family Center.

    • Anbu says:

      U have kids?

  7. We need privacy trespass with inflection to filming without consent …anything defamatory….(as it negatively effects us all), and is relative to ability and income…for those too pious and self righteous ,remember…going to church doesn’t make you a Christian….any more than standing in a garage makes you a car.

  8. For instance …if you film from a public park when it is closed …And say a pi investigator is filming a person on private property after hours…I expect his license to be revoked and damages equifiable.

  9. Seriously? says:

    Really inane comment Mr. Mahbooboo (lol) What does being a Christian have to do with anything? Way to stay on point……….