Dear College Community  

There is no doubt, many of the student behaviours we deal with at school on a daily basis are a result of social media, either directly or indirectly. 

There is also no doubt that students do not have the capabilities or developed the mental capacity to keep pace with social media and technology. By that I mean, our 12-, 13- and 14-year-old young adolescents have not developed the skills and capacity to deal with what is dealt to them through social media. They are simply not of an age to handle it.  

We must go through a rigorous set of tests and procedures before we are allowed to drive a car. It will take 4 years before a learner driver can be a fully licensed driver. We go through no such rigour when giving our young people implements such as mobile phones to drive. Giving the young such a tool can be quite dangerous and they require coaching and role modelling from adults to learn how to operate, drive and cope with these devices. As well, there needs to be strict protocols in place from parents and schools in helping children navigate the minefield of technology and social media. For your reflection, I present to you the following pros and cons of social media. 

The internet has become a significant and integral part of our daily life. So too has social media, and it is having a drastic impact on today’s teens. In 2005, approximately five percent of users were involved in social media. Social media universally amongst today’s teens, according to the Pew Research Centre, reports 97% of 13–17-year-olds use at least one of seven online platforms. A recent survey from the Pew Research Centre, found that while the most used social platforms for adults are Facebook and Youtube, teens much prefer Snapchat and Instagram, while Tik Tok is the fastest growing social network among young users. The amount of time spent on social sites is mind boggling. One report indicates the average teen between 13 and 18, spends about 9 hours on social media each day. Whereas pre-teens, 8-12, can be on social media for up to 6 hours per day.  

Like most things, using social media has its positives (the good), its cautionary tales (the bad), and the dangers (the ugly), that lurk and impact the lives of many, especially teenagers.  

 Pros: Why is social media good? 

  • Social media and technology offer us greater convenience and connectivity eg. Connections to family and friends worldwide via email, facetime etc. 
  • Quick access to information and research. 
  • Banking and bill paying at our fingertips. 
  • Online learning, jobs skills, content discovery. 
  • Involvement in civic engagement (fundraising, social awareness, providing a voice). 
  • A marketing tool. 
  • Opportunities for remote employment, schooling, and learning.

Social media can be a good thing. But, if teens ever feel uncomfortable about something they see or read on social media, they should trust their own feelings and instincts and talk to someone – a parent, teacher, or trusted adult. Bullying, threats, and cruelty on social media are all signs that the person doing those things needs help.  

Cons – Why is social media bad? 

With all its benefits, the nature of social media presents a range of potential issues. 

  • Online versus reality – social media itself is not the problem. It is the way people use it in place of actual communication and in-person socialising. “Friends” on social media may not actually be friends and may even be strangers. 
  • Increased usage – the more time spent on social media can lead to cyber-bullying, social anxiety, depression, and exposure to content that is certainly not age appropriate. 
  • Social media is addictive. When you play a game or accomplish a task, and seek to do as well as you can and succeed, your brain gives you a dose of dopamine and other happiness hormones. The same mechanism functions when you post pictures or comments to Instagram or Facebook. Once you see all the notifications, likes and positive comments popping up on your screen, you subconsciously register this as a reward, and the same happy hormones flood your body. But that’s not all because social media is full of mood modifying experiences. 
  • FOMO (fear of missing out) – often leads to checking of social media sites. The idea that you might miss out on something if you are not online can certainly affect your mental health. 

Self-Esteem Issues 

Social media provides tools that allow others to gain approval from others on so many levels. Selfie-aholics and those who spend most of their time scrolling are the most vulnerable.  

Bullying is a very ugly side of social media. Bullying is not new in itself but social media has brought it to a new level. It is constant, ever present, faceless, and active 24/7. Cyber-bullying causes physical and emotional harm placing students in states of fear – it is intimidating, threatening, hostile and abusive, and infringes on the rights of the student to participate fully in school activities and severely interrupts the educational process for a young student.  

According to, the following are statistics on cyber-bullying.  

  • One out of four (25%) teens are bullied whilst up to 45% have been bullied online.  
  • Nine out of ten LGBTQI experience harassment at school and online.  
  • 58% do not tell their parents or an adult about something that has hurt them online.  
  • 5.4 million children stay home on any given day stay home because they are in fear of being bullied.  

 Social Media and Suicide 

Sadly, the cons of social media can take a toll on young minds. Suicide remains the leading cause of death in children under the age of 14. 

What Can Parents Do? 

As parents there are things we can do to improve our children’s lives online and in real life.  

  • Model the behaviour we want to see. 
  • Set boundaries immediately when you give your child their first phone. 
  • Set parental controls on their phones, with access to their passwords. 
  • Have a collection point where the phone lives overnight, not in their bedroom. Even, have a charging point outside of bedrooms. 
  • Mobile phones should not be used an hour before they go to bed. 
  • Have conversations with your child on why some things should be kept private and not shared on social media. 
  • Take time to actively engage with your children face-to-face. This interaction teaches them how to follow facial cues, verbal and non-verbal. 
  • Talk to your children without glancing at your own mobile phone. (Role model positive social and phone behaviour). 
  • Find opportunities to have genuine conversations that are not lectures. 
  • If they share their social media concerns with you, don’t blame them – they are sharing with you. Maintaining their trust is essential to open lines of communication. (Help them, don’t blame them). 

Having these restrictions on your children is a form of tough love. Please don’t feel guilty about it. They will appreciate this in the end. 

Technology has changed the way we live, work and socialise, but it cannot replace parenting. 


Staff Welcome 

A warm welcome to Mr Andrew Leary our new Business Manager at the College. 

Over the past 20 years, Andrew has worked in finance with the Findex group. 

We look forward to Andrew settling in and having a long and fruitful relationship with the College. 


Kindest regards 

Mr Noel Nethery 

Acting Principal 


MRC Board Membership 

Anyone interested in becoming a member of the College Board, please express your interest to: 

Jennine Williams 

PA to the Principal 

Tel: (03) 6432 7612