Empowering Students to Win at Social Media

A social media expert with a fresh perspective visited campus for two days to work with students, faculty, and parents. Acknowledging social media – described as any digital communication within a group of people – as “the biggest game in the world,” Laura Tierney, founder of The Social Institute, brought a positive message about “how to win at social.”

“There are many things you shouldn’t do in life, but what if that was all anyone taught you? You wouldn’t know what to do, period … we aim to equip and inspire, not scare,” according to Tierney.

Over a two-day visit, Tierney held sessions with student leaders, parents, and the entire Upper and Middle schools. She challenged students to live up to seven standards, including conveying their core values, protecting their privacy, striking a balance, and using their mic for good. 

Through a rapid-fire “social sprint,” Tierney offered relatable hypothetical scenarios with a selection of positive solutions to engage and inspire students in an age-appropriate way. For example, in the Middle School workshop: your friend wants you to play an M-rated game that your parents don’t allow. Or: You and your friend are in his mother’s car, and she uses her phone while driving to check a text or refer to a map. Or: someone sends you an objectionable photo. Students discussed and shared how they would handle each situation.

With the ultimate goal of empowering students to take charge of their digital world, the workshops provided much food for thought. “Winning at social media means strengthening your reputation, encouraging and inspiring others, seizing collegiate and career opportunities, and even changing your world for the better,” according to Tierney. 

To learn more about the work of The Social Institute, visit their website