Hello! My name is Nancy Smith.
I decided to become an advocate for social media citizenship after a parent session at my child's school about online safety that warned us against the dangers of social media. While the information covered was true, I found the whole approach to be extreme. After 2 hours, we were all left with lots of frightening examples yet no direction on how to help our kids use social media responsibly.
After posting my frustration to Facebook, dozens of friends joined the conversation. It was clear this was a shared issue. I scoured the internet looking for answers and felt at a loss to find any conversation regarding social media that wasn't completely damning and hopeless. Is that the best we can do? Just shrug and condemn and give up defeated?
The solution I was looking for wasn't out there so I created it. My dissatisfaction with what was available led my to create my own movement and build a hub of practical advice that parents are looking for and kids need.
I believe what we can do better together is talk about our experiences. What works, what doesn't - in an environment free from fear mongering, shame and judgement.
As a mom, woman, heck - human I envision a world my child can grow up in confidently. Where he can use all the exciting emerging technology to his advantage. Where acceptance and belonging are at an all time high as it becomes increasingly easier to discover and pursue many unique paths in life. We live in a time of incredible opportunity for connection with powerful resources at our fingertips. I'm not an advocate for not allowing it and cutting it off.
My career in digital marketing and social media meant working with brands like Travel Alberta, Sport Check and Samsung tapping into their user pain points, connecting on a deeper level and providing valuable solutions. I do the same thing now with families. Helping adults discover the positive aspects of social media and working with kids on how they can be responsible social citizens in this rapidly changing digital environment
What I do.
I teach Social Media and Digital Marketing at Mount Royal University, the University of Calgary and for the Canadian Marketing Association. I have been speaking about this topic for over 10 years, building my platform, using my voice and providing practical workshops and sessions at large-scale conferences. I'm very much a part of the conversation on the perils related to social media but I'm not a doomsayer. I talk about what's not working and I equip people with the right tools to go forth and navigate with knowledge, confidence and peace of mind. Technology is everywhere, it can't be avoided but it absolutely can be used for good.
I am an author of the book Social Citizens: A Positive Approach to Social Media & Parenting in a Digital Age and am a proud member of the Canadian Association of Professional Speakers.
Most importantly, I am a mom to a great kid!