Family Resources on Digital Diary

Lesson Topic

Safely Managing Online Use

Essential Question

In the digital age, when we can be online 24/7, how can we manage our online lives to stay healthy and productive?

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Respect – Hillary

If this lesson was used in the classroom: Students learned about how a negative body image can lead to unsafe behaviors. In class students watched a video where Hillary tells her story about struggles with an eating disorder. Students discussed and considered questions about how media can have negative consequences for health.

Getting Ready for the Conversation

Hillary is in recovery for anorexia which she struggled with when she was in middle school. Many students face life-altering decisions at a young age, such as eating disorders and it is important to discuss the many unsafe choices that adolescents may face.

Note: Generally, eating disorders are considered primarily to affect females, but males can also have negative body images that lead to eating disorders. Regardless of gender, other negative body image issues may lead to other dangerous choices as well, such as steroid use.

Conversation Starters

The first item is for follow-up after viewing the lesson video and participating in class activities.

Describe how Hillary began to have a negative body image?

Develop a plan as a family for how to make sure that all media (primarily internet media) in the household is safe for everyone. Why do you think this plan will work?

The government regulates older media such as television and radio, so that there are no “pro-ana” (pro-anorexia) or other similar television and radio programs. Should the same be done for internet websites or social media posts? Why or why not?

What are some body positive activities that you or we can participate in? Why do these activities promote a positive self-image?

If you were worried about a friend (or sibling) having such a negative body image that you were concerned they would do something unsafe, what actions would you take? Why?

Who are the people you can talk to about unsafe internet activities?

School to Home Resources on Digital Diary

Lesson Plan

Dangerous web content

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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

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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

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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

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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?

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