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Award-winning poet, filmmaker and speaker, Max Stossel believes social media is negatively impacting the mental health, self-worth, social lives, productivity, communication and focusing skills of young people.
Youth & Education Advisor for the Center for Humane Technology, an organization of former tech insiders dedicated to aligning “technology with humanity,” Stossel’s assertions are backed by his experiences in the tech world.
Before working with CHT and founding Social Awakening, Stossel’s “Social Awakening” website explains he was “a media strategist, running social media for multinational brands, and later working for a social media company where he designed some of the notification structures to distract people that he now raises awareness about.
“He has spent the past six years speaking with 100,000+ students, parents, and educators around the world about social media's impact on our lives, and creating resources to help manage that impact. Max provides a unique and much-needed perspective on the role of technology in our homes, schools, and in our society.”
Stossel will be making three presentations November 8th in Newark schools.
• “We’ve Been Sneaking Into Your Brains” at 9:30 a.m. in the Newark High School auditorium and at 1 p.m. in the Newark Middle School auditorium.
During these talks to students Stossel will explain specific ways technology is designed to be addictive & distracting; lead a discussion about the impact of phones & social media and discuss ways to use them wisely.
“Social Media and Your Kids” at 6 p.m. in the NHS auditorium. Geared to educators and parents, this presentation will include an overview of how students are using social media and gives recommendations on how to improve focus and diminish distraction in learning environments. This session will conclude with time to discuss what’s working and not working in our classrooms and households.
Sandra Ordan, Newark Central School District Director of Innovation and Grants Services and Julia Solan, NCSD Family Outreach and Community Schools Coordinator recently attended a riveting student presentation to 200 eighth graders in the Webster Central School District during which Ordan said students were “so fully engaged that you could hear a pin drop.”
“We were both in awe of Max Stossel's revealing presentation on social media - both its positives and downsides including how it is intentionally engineered to be addicting and negatively impacting,” said Solan. “His discussion of behind-the-scenes social media applications, algorithms and how advertisers control your feeds to cause addiction and portray false feelings was captivating
“He also noted how users typically just portray their best and most creative sides in hopes of conforming to societal standards of a perfect individual. I am very excited to have him present to our students & families next month. His message is strong, compelling, and really makes both students and adults think about how social media can have a negative impact on mental health.”
Learn more about Stossel by visiting his website - https://www.socialawakening.org
Ordan said she and Superintendent Sue Hasenauer feel Stossel’s presentations will serve to jump start this important and ongoing conversation in the school district.
In May, former Boston Celtics basketball player Chris Herren will make presentations to students about substance abuse.
“As stated in our Strategic Plan, we are committed to supporting the culture and climate across the district by focusing on the social and emotional health of our students and their safety and security,” Hasenauer wrote to parents in her October 18th “Superintendent’s Message.”
“We are beyond excited to bring our community together as a whole to hear two nationally acclaimed speakers discuss two very distinct topics that continue to create barriers in our District and in society, social media usage and substance abuse.”