Whatever you post on the Internet can stay there forever, but some teens may not exactly understand that. Paula Beare, a math teacher from Australia, is conducting a social media experiment so that her students will learn the realities about posting online.
On Friday, Beare posted a Facebook photo of a handwritten letter explaining that she is doing a school lesson next week on cybersecurity and needed users to share her post to show how many people it can reach.
"As a teacher you know that kids don't want to be told, they want to be shown," Beare told The Brisbane Times. "I've been able to show them through this post how something so small can turn into something huge. They just don't know how far something will go and that applies to a public party invitation or if someone wants revenge because of a bad breakup. They need to think about the consequences."
In a series of polls, KidsHealth reports that at least seven out of 10 teens post personal information online like their names, photos, hometown and birthdates. This information could easily get in the wrong hands, especially since a 2014 study said that 90 percent of 18 to 24-year-olds have social media friends they don't know in real life. And then there are people who post incriminating things online without realizing the consequences.
Beare's goal was to track the popularity of her Facebook post in a mathematical model to show her students how many people she reached.
After just a few days, her Facebook post had over 73,000 shares.
"I thought maybe 10,000 shares at most before it would just die off," she told The Brisbane Times.
A Plus has reached out to Paula Beare for a comment.