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I was recently interviewed by Elizabeth Hardison for the article, “Pennsylvania set up a tip line for school threats. Instead, students overwhelmingly called with mental health concerns.” When I was asked if I was surprised by the high level of mental health concerns being reported by students, I said I was not.

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I often hear fears about the latest online “challenge” that the kids are doing. But many times, they aren’t real or are not as reported.

Over the years, the mental health hashtags have evolved and are ever-changing. It’s difficult to keep up with all of the mental health hashtags as they are sometimes blocked on Instagram or other social media platforms, but when certain hashtags become blocked, others come to life to replace them.

One of my roles is working with youth in local schools. I check in with the at-risk students and try to encourage, support, and guide them. I also help to identify unhealthy digital relationships.

Working in a middle school, I often speak to youth who report being “bullied.” School counselors spend time looking at the scenarios and helping youth understand the difference between being rude, mean, and bullying.

Sometimes I’m asked about legal issues related to technology. There can be many struggles with technology, social media, and crime. I’ve posted a new resources about legal issues and technology.

I enjoy watching young people grow up and find their path; it’s wonderful seeing all of the good things that they accomplish. I’ve always liked recognizing youth that are trying to make the world a better place by their actions.

Standing in front of an audience was never a career goal for me. I had no intention to do public speaking. My last year of college, I took a mandatory public speaking course over the summer when I knew there would be only a few students in my class. So, when I was first asked to do an assembly for middle school students, I was petrified. I instantly put them to sleep.

With every new challenge we take on in life, there is an expectation set before the venture begins. Elementary, middle, and high schools have a handbook to follow. There are expectations about attendance, academics, and behaviors.

I’m sure many of us are telling our kids not to send nudes, but are we telling them not to request them equally?

Over the past two days, news stories of the “Momo Challenge” have been rapidly spreading through the media. This has led to much misinformation, unclear understanding and concerned parents, professionals and teachers as well as frightened children. 

One of the goals of Shape The Sky is to bridge the gap between wisdom gained from over a lifetime and knowledge of current technology and trends.

Ask.Fm is a popular site/app for young people. It offers a space for exploration via anonymous question and answer posts. I discuss it at all of my training’s. The site has been topic for discussion in more than one of my therapy sessions as a counselor with teens as well. Often parents and professionals will […]

When a child turns 16 , according to most state laws, they are ready to learn to drive. We, parents and adults, prepare them.

“Let’s take a moment to examine the concepts of knowledge and wisdom and how they relate to social media. Some people may combine knowledge and wisdom in the same category. While they are closely connected and work well together when used symbiotically, there are distinct differences.   Knowledge is gained daily through assignments, tasks, and activities…think […]

“I often get asked about privacy settings on Facebook. I tell people to regularly check their settings and adjust them as needed. Sometimes people tell me they are unsure how to adjust them and seem hesitant with their ability. Here are a couple links that will help you navigate adjusting your privacy settings. ~ Ryan” […]

“Public shaming of children by adults happens and often by adults in positions of authority. I have seen it personally. When I see a post on my Facebook feed it’s called “public shaming”, and it’s design is to teach the child a lesson. But I wonder why we aren’t using different terminology and calling it […]

“In my role I have to interpret teen behavior related to social media and present it to an audience. But I really enjoy listening to teens discuss social media from their perspective. Here is an excellent blog post from a college aged teen articulating teen views on social media. ~ Ryan” + A Teenager’s View […]

“This site was brought to me by a 12 year old boy who is a friend of the family. He and his family know about my work and they help out when they see something I could use for educating parents, professionals and youth. I have used this site for several years working with parents […]

“This is one of my favorite titles from an excellent technology journalist Larry Magid. When I present, I discuss apps that allow the user to post anonymously. While there is obvious concern for bullying and other inappropriate use, there are other concepts to consider. Larry does a wonderful job of discussing these points in this […]

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