The Web – a misused resource? – Keeping things positive!

Positivity vs Negativity – the battle wages on many fronts.

This post is meant to be about cyber-bullying, but I feel like perhaps what I write about cyber-bullying will be a regurgitation of what I read.

To avoid this, (hopefully) I wanted to talk about positivity vs. negativity online – perhaps this connects with cyber bullying?

Always Look on the Bright Side of Life
Photo Credit: Jon McGovern via Compfight cc

I asked a student in one of my classes about positivity vs. negativity online as she told me that the majority of social sites she visits illicit mainly positive comments from her friends.  Often times though these were face to face friends as well.  The comments, and sites like facebook were only an extension of her person to person social life.  She did mention that it was sites where anonymity was permitted that allowed the negativity.

So this got me thinking…

As we strive to leverage the web as a site to bring on feedback for creative endeavours, as we open up students to comments – do we have an expectation of positivity? Is anyone telling our students the adage my mother always told me – “If I don’t have anything positive to say, don’t say it”?

Photo Credit: obaxterlovo via Compfight cc
Photo Credit: obaxterlovo via Compfight cc

This truth from mothers seems apt – in an online and in a face to face encounter.  Keep things positive.  We live in a world that full of so many incredible things and still we have to gripe about the smallest things online.  Why?

As the nature of interactions between our students change I wonder if kids will change the way they react to negativity?

As an educator I need to evaluate what steps I am taking to teach my students about positivity in an online setting.

It is easy to be negative when no one knows who you are – this we know.  A great question, prompt, and/or lesson is to explain to our students how to be positive and critical at the same time.

In the end I may have missed the mark with this post connecting to cyber bullying – as I recognize that cyber bullying is many many things, in many different forms.  What I think is important to take away from this and what I have taken away from it – IS – Wait for it! – Own up and be POSITIVE!!!!




5 thoughts on “The Web – a misused resource? – Keeping things positive!

  1. “It is easy to be negative when no one knows who you are – this we know. A great question, prompt, and/or lesson is to explain to our students how to be positive and critical at the same time.”
    I agree with you that we need to maintain positive attitude toward the use of technology. Knowing the potential dangers, however, is important for students but keeping them away from the digital tools is not right. To develop the students discernment is one of the way to help them use internet positively.


  2. Couldn’t agree more – shying away is never the answer to empower our students to become critical and promote positive interactions online.


  3. I wonder if our mother’s are related because mine always told me the same thing: If you don’t have anything positive to say, don’t say it. This is the same as the standard ‘glass half-full or half-empty’ saying also used to emphasize the difference between positive and negative thinking.This saying , as we know ,is used to explain how people perceive events and objects. Perception is unique to every individual and is simply one’s interpretation of reality.Therein lies the problem because we are all unique and interpret reality differently depending on where we are coming from. I am not sure if it is possible for kids to be always positive. The majority of us do not know what really is going on at home with our students and what stressors and hardships they may be going through. that effect their state of mind.

    How is this for a quote about the glass being half full or half empty:
    “The adolescent student says the glass is just another dirty trick played by the teacher to prove that students are dumb”


  4. You’re on the mark. If we wrangle kiddos into the cult of positivity, then they’d see, comment on, post on, document on, and be the positivity. There are little things; when discussing theme students say, “don’t leave others out”…and I suggest, “let’s say ‘include'”. Every Friday I start class by asking kids to list three things they’re grateful for. I think educators simply need to focus on and model the positive.
    Funny, the woman who supervised detention when I was in high school back in the ’80’s always sang, “think positive, think positive”. My thoughts then were, “wow…too much fun in the ’70’s.” But now…well, kids catch me singing that same tune.


  5. I think that by having the discussion it opens the dialogue for open and honest communications between students. Cyberbullying focused or not, the issue is not that, but how do students feel when they are using technologies and how can they get better at understanding the positive and negative aspects of this new world. I was listening to Marc Maron’s podcast and he was discussing how he was getting rid of his messaging board (comments section) because there were too many negative things being said. It’s alarming to me that adults feel so comfortable making these statements and that it would get to a point where no one would be able to say anything because people were being so negative. I think that when kids see adults behaving this way they begin to think it’s just the ‘norm.’ I


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