Here’s what you might have missed in social media in the last week…..

The Good

Ellen Breaks Twitter

Ellen DeGeneres has perhaps the coolest “selfie” experience ever.While hosting the Oscars, Ellen decided to gather a group of celebrities for a selfie. And then she broke Twitter.

Ellen also broke the highest Twitter records by getting 400K retweets in 30 minutes. When the screen shot was taken, it had been retweeted 2.7 million times.

As a result, Twitter lost power for over 20 minutes, and sent out an apology to it’s users. Well played Ellen.

Ellen DeGeneres Breaks Twitter

Minecraft Movie


For those of you who found yourselves at a movie theater laughing and crying at the Lego Movie (and not just because of how much cash you dropped on 4 tickets and some popcorn), there is MORE good news. Most of our kids from 8-15 years old are Minecraft FREAKS.

We should therefore, not be surprised that there is a Minecraft movie in the works.

That’s right a “live action” movie based on the wildly popular game (100 million users to date).

As long as that 40 second music wind-chime-tinkling-tune on a loop isn’t the consistent musical accompaniment, I should be able to make it out without shoving a pencil in my eye.

The Bad


How to Lose $80K In One Facebook Post

Photo Credit: Rebecca Barray

Photo Credit: Rebecca Barray


The next time I’m a college freshman and my dad wins an age-discrimination suit against the high school that employed him, I will remember to NOT post a snarky victory status on Facebook, especially when the settlement includes a gag order – because then my parents will lose the settlement money.


The Ugly

This Teen Has Sex With a Hot Pocket, Seriously


When I present to parents I talk about the immaturity of the teen brain. It just isn’t done cooking yet, literally. A young adult’s brain does not have a fully connected frontal lobe. So they’re sorta brain damaged. But as parents we forget that and tend to say things like: “How on earth did you think that was a good idea?”, “No, I have never wondered what would happen if you microwaved a raw egg”, and “Why is there cottage cheese on the ceiling?”.

This story lives at the intersection of  “Over Cooked Hot Pocket” AND “Under Cooked Frontal Lobe”.

Once upon a time there was a young man who wanted to increase his Twitter followers. He created a Vine of himself fornicating with an empty box of Pop Tarts. After a brief flash of social media fame – the muse visited once again. In an effort to skyrocket past his previous fame, he decided to have sex with a microwaved Hot Pocket, literally.

“I tried doing it without a condom and it was just, like, way too hot,” he said. “I put it in the fridge for a little bit and I was like, ‘Dude, I’m gonna have to use a condom if I’m gonna actually stick my d*** in the whole Hot Pocket.'”

Alas, in the end the fame backfired; the courageous young man who risked his personal reputation AND his junk ended up with suspended Twitter and Vine accounts. In addition, Hot Pockets blocked him on Twitter….everybody’s a critic.

In other (apparently) unrelated news….

Nestle USA issued a voluntary recall of its Philly Steak and Cheese Hot Pockets because they may contain “diseased and unsound animal meat” – which is an unkind characterization. What teens do with their Hot Pockets is really none of our business. Unless of course they post it to Vine, then it becomes “forever”. 


Cyberbullying - Internet Safety for Families - online courseHave you heard the term: “Don’t feed the trolls”? Trolls are online bullies who generally show themselves in the comments section of a website or blog. But they can just as easily be found within your own social media profiles.  In fact, younger users of social media may have a large percentage of trolls within their own “friends” and “followers”.

In a Cleveland, Ohio suburb a mother is mourning the loss of her teenage son. He was stabbed to death right outside his home after a feud over a girl which the mother says escalated via Facebook. The suspected murderer made specific threats on Facebook that he was “coming to get” the young man.

If what this mother says turns out to be true, then this is a case which involves cyberbullying. The interesting aspect is the chosen platform – Facebook. Facebook’s connection structure is synchronous. This means that in order for you and I to be “friends” on Facebook we have to agree. You send me a “friend request” and I agree. If we do not agree, there is no connection.

Very often I’m asked what parents should do when cyberbullying arrives in their lives. Using this heartbreaking situation as an example:

  1. Your children should only ‘friend’ those people who mom/dad know IRL (in real life) 
    If YOU do not know the “friend”, remove the connection
  2. Explain to your children the risks of TMI (too much information) 
    You give potential trolls ammunition to use against you (examples: problems at home, issues with school, illnesses, family deaths, personally identifying data, etc)
  3. If the cyberbullying is obvious and targeted – DO NOT FEED THE TROLLS
    Tell your children to NOT answer back when threats are made – they should tell an adult and step away
  4. BLOCK the cyberbully from your profile if possible
    Some social media platforms do not make “blocking possible” -but Facebook does
  5. Your child should take a break from social media for a significant amount of time – a week or two
  6. Report threats to local police and the school where appropriate

I have no idea if these tips would have helped this child, and I don’t know this family personally. All I know is that a child is dead and another one will likely spend a very, very long time in jail (which is appropriate). This tragedy might very well have occurred anyhow outside of the realm of social. In this particular case Facebook seems to have been a vehicle for communication of a threat and a continued festering of anger and cyberbullying.

Parents: have these conversations with your children so that they will recognize a threat when they see it or hear it.