social media

How Social Media Helps Heal the Pain of Tragedy - #HumboldtStrong

Late Friday April 6, 2018 afternoon, I was reading my twitter feed when I saw a post from a news outlet that advised the Humboldt Broncos team bus was involved in a serious crash in rural Saskatchewan.  Like many others, I used social media as my primary source of information as the details of the accident unfolded.

This tragedy has united our country in grief.  We are all in shock and our hearts are broken for the players, coaches, victims, emergency workers, families and communities affected by this horrific accident.  For many we turned to social media to express our sadness and support on social media.  The tributes and condolences were shared from all over the world and created a bond that shared grief, love and hope.  

We have found a public way to share our sadness and sorrow, and to offer gestures of condolences.

Social media has allowed us to learn more about the victims and survivors of the accident.  Their stories circulate through photos and videos online like this A photo showing three of the survivors lying in their hospital beds holding hands was shared thousands of times on social media.  

Some of the survivors of the accident are using social media to share their recovery stories and to thank people for their support and encouragement. Earlier today, the official @HumboldtBroncos Twitter account tweeted:

"We see you. We hear you.  We love you. We are all #HumboldtStrong"

Since the accident, we have seen people share their tributes online using hashtags such as #HumboldtStrong, #SticksoutforHumboldt, #JerseysforHumboldt, #PrayersforHumboldt have take over Twitter, Facebook and Instagram in the hundreds of thousands.  

People have shared their photos of themselves wearing sports jerseys to remember the Humboldt Broncos players and staff. There are pictures from schools, workplaces, little kids, families, seniors, people of all ages, backgrounds, and nationalities. There are videos at sporting events and hockey games with the crowd chanting in unison, "Let's Go Broncos" and there are images of hockey sticks with green bows left on porches across our country and around the world.  These may seem like small gestures, but collectively it is POWERFUL to see.

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Social media has created a way to organize help too, including:

- raising funds like the GoFundMe account which has now surpassed 10 million and continues to grow.

- Organ donation and blood donation saw a huge increase of over 500% - many social media users say the donation on Humboldt Broncos defensemen Logan Boulet's organs inspired them to become donors.

The role of social media during tragic events has become vital to keep people informed and connected during tragic events like these.  Whether the incidents took place at the Boston Marathon, the Paris bombing, the Las Vegas Shooting, the Orlando nightclub shooting or like this accident in rural Saskatchewan, the world is using social media to connect online to try grieve and move forward collectively.

I believe social media will be critical to help support and inspire the survivors of this tragic accident in the future too. Use social media as a positive force to help you connect with others. Taking small actions can help us move forward in times of tragedy - share how you are touched by the stories on our Facebook page , register as an organ donor, donate blood or make a donation to the GoFundMe Campaign

What is is a free social media platform for creating, sharing and discovering short musical videos.
— website
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Lipsynching to your favourite song has always been popular, but in the past year has become a part of our mainstream media thanks to celebrities like Jimmy Fallon and his epic lip sync battles with other celebrities. If your child loves music like mine does, then no doubt they have asked you if they can have the app  Rolling Stone magazine just published an interesting article  about how many big pop stars including Katy Perry are using the app to release new singles.

What is it? 

The app is a video platform that lets users create, save and share videos up to 15 seconds in length.  You can select music or other or quotes from movies/tv shows etc from the online library and then film a video of you with this as the "soundtrack".  There are lots of special effects you can add including fast and slow motion, filters, time lapse and duet capabilities.  The app essentially lets users be creative and express themselves.

Here is an excellent overview that Common Sense Media created: 

When you watch a video you can:

  • Like it (by clicking on a heart) 

  • Leave a comment ( prompt you by "say something nice")

  • Share the video on Facebook (and Facebook messenger), Instagram,

  • Report abuse

The terms of service state that users must be 13 years old to use this platform.

If you decide to let your child use, here are some things I think you should know:

  • You need to know their account name and password.
  • You should create an account for yourself too so that you can follow your child and see the videos they share.  
  • Set the account settings to Private (the default setting is Public).  When private setting is turned on it will hide the location from other users and only permit friends private messages.  To access the privacy setting you click the "wheel" in the upper right hand when you are on the user profile page.  Next, click "settings", scroll down to "privacy" and move the switches for "private account, hide location info, and only friends can me" to ON.
  • Routinely check who is following your child and ensure both of you know all of the followers. Also check what accounts your child is following to ensure the content is appropriate.  Remind your child that you can check their account any time you want to make sure they are safe and using the app appropriately.
  • Know that not all of the songs are appropriate for kids and may have explicit lyrics.
  •  Discuss with your kids what you deem is ok and not ok for filming.  For example "no filming in your bedroom"

Be aware of the dangers of using apps like this too.  Google it, there are no shortage of stories of pedophiles using this app...

Why I let my kid use

My kid has an account.  I monitor it all of the time, and I review who he follows and who is following him.  We have not had any negative experiences to deal with so far.  What I love about the app is that he is super creative and he is having fun.  I am amazed at some of his videos and have even joined in on a duet with him a couple of times.

Ultimately, the choice is YOURS whether you decide to allow it or not.  Let me know what you think!