Parents invited to free social media apps safety chat

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By Denise DuBois

Protecting children from Internet bullies and cyber stalking is a high priority and there is an event coming up in the community to help parents understand social media and how to keep their children safe online.

On April 23, Lee County District Attorney Brandon Hughes will host a social media awareness speech at the Smiths Station Junior High Auditorium at 6 p.m. ET.

“Social media awareness is important in today’s society,” said Smiths Station Mayor F.L. “Bubba” Copeland. “With the explosion of cell phone use, we find that a number of Americans, especially teenagers, are living vicariously through their phones.

“With the onslaught of media apps where the parents are left without control, it’s key that we are educated on the pitfalls we don’t even know we could fall into.  The District Attorney is going out of his way to educate the citizens of Lee County. And everyone is involved.”

Hughes has hosted events like this before and one of his talks is available for viewing on Facebook by searching Lee County District Attorney’s Office. The program is called “inAPPropriate: Sex, Cell Phones and Social Media.” This event was re-scheduled from March 19.

Topics of discussion will include social media apps that children may download and how misuse of social media can lead to criminal charges for children and adults. It is a one-hour event that will also be broadcast live on the Lee County District Attorney’s Facebook page.

The Pew Research Center released a study last August that showed one in four Americans harassed online is acquaintanced with his or her attacker. That’s why it’s important to know how social media affects children.

“Social media is a big threat today with Snapchat and several other apps. The DA is going to show us the pitfalls and dangers of it,” Copeland said.