Family Resources on Respect
Managing time online
In the digital age, when we can be online 24/7, how can we manage our online lives to stay healthy and productive?
Self-Respect and Self-Care – Hillary
If this lesson was used in the classroom: Students analyzed their use of the internet and considered helpful and harmful ways the internet can be used. In class students discussed internet safety. Individually students logged the amount of time they use the internet and as a group discussed the helpful uses of the internet and technology in reaching their career and life goals.
Getting Ready for the Conversation
The video for this module features a youth named Hillary who is in recovery for an eating disorder. Hillary’s eating disorder began when she found websites that encouraged her to have a negative body image. She discusses how these websites fueled her negative body images and the steps she continues to take so she can remain in recovery.
There are two intertwined topics for this discussion: internet safety and eating disorders. Discussion about eating disorders and body image can be difficult, please be prepared. Also, it is important for parents and mentors to remain mindful that eating disorders and negative body image issues are not only issues for girls, but can also affect boys and non-binary youth (although symptoms may differ).
Some basic information about eating disorders is available from the Mayo Clinic:
If help is needed the National Eating Disorders Association maintains a helpline and more detailed information: https://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org
Constructive Conversation Starters
The first item is for follow-up after viewing the lesson video and participating in class activities.
Were you surprised at the amount of time you spend online? Why or why not? What future goals did you identify and how will internet technology help you achieve those goals?
Why is it essential to understand how to use the internet and social media responsibly?
In the video Hillary was influenced by websites that intentionally discouraged living a healthy lifestyle by falsely claiming that anorexia is healthy. Some media, like over the air television and radio, is regulated so that a producer cannot promote content that shows eating disorders as healthy (or other things that are factually unsafe). Should the internet be regulated in a similar way to radio and television? Why or why not? [This discussion could happen even if the video has not been viewed.]
What are the warning signs that a friend might have an eating disorder? What actions should you take? Why?
What are the characteristics of a support system that promotes a healthy lifestyle? How can our family make sure that every member of the family remains safe when using internet connected devices? Explain.
School to Home Resources on Respect
Interactive Reflections and Lesson Plans often cover broader themes than the competency named. All CWK stories are multi-faceted and are meant to prompt deep conversation.
Dangerous web content
Hillary says, “no one should ever promote something that is life threatening, it was not good for me at all it’s like a drug-it’s addicting”. While the internet did not create Hillary’s disease, some dangerous websites did contribute to her becoming anorexic. What advice do you think Hillary would offer about determining if a website contains safe and truthful content? What helpful strategies could you offer for determining if the content of a website is truthful and safe? Should the publishers of the websites Hillary used (who published dangerous and untrue content) be held legally liable for paying some of Hillary’s medical expenses?
Recovery requires daily work
Hillary discusses that she has to choose every day to remain healthy saying, “somedays I believe there is no way I can get better, somedays I think I can get through this”. Many people who suffer with diseases of addiction learn that recovery involves daily practice and choices. What kinds of things do you think Hillary must tell herself every day to remain healthy?
Use the internet safely
Hillary’s mother says, “I didn’t think that my kid would look at anything on the internet that she shouldn’t be looking at, she knows better- she’s a really good kid”. Despite having rules about internet use, Hillary still used the internet in an unsafe manner. What advice would you offer to Hillary’s mother to make sure that the intent is used safely in the future?
Think about unhealthy body images
Dr. Ken Haller says, “people just don’t look like this, this is not a natural, healthy, normal way to look. One of the dangers of the internet is there are people out there who will find ways of putting this information out there [that is unhealthy]”. What types of messages would Dr. Haller say offer a healthy female body image? How are boys and men negatively affected by the promotion of unhealthy female body images? What do you think Dr. Haller would say about websites that target males with unhealthy body images? What are some examples of unhealthy messages about how men are supposed to look or act?