“That's the trickier part of standards,” explained Laura Tierney, 2020 Alison Harrison Goodyear ’29 Fellow and keynote speaker for the School’s recent Wellness Weekend. “It's not just what you set for yourself. You should hold others to a high standard, too. I think it's vital that anyone who operates with high integrity has high standards in their lives.”
Tierney, who conducted a Friday workshop on “Willpower” in addition to her Thursday evening keynote, is founder and CEO of The Social Institute, whose #WinAtSocial program – a gamified social media curriculum that challenges students to use social media and technology in positive ways – was adopted as a part of this year’s School-wide wellness program. Co-created with over 50,000 students at 60 schools nationwide, the program uses seven standards to teach students to champion high character, from themselves and others, on all social platforms.
Using examples and interactive challenges to illustrate her points, Tierney walked the audience through the seven standards and how social platforms can actually help students thrive when these standards are applied to their lives and social media choices. Students particularly enjoyed the Concentration Grid challenge, as Tierney tapped the girls’ competitive sides to see who could get the highest score while various distractions (much like the endless notifications that pop up on our screens) made a seemingly simple task more complex.
The Seven Standards to #WinAtSocial are:
Strike a balance - Balance our time and attention on technology with the people around us.
Play to your core - Click send on things that represent your values, character, and interests.
Use your mic for good - Amplify your voice to create positive change and promote ideas that you care about.
Find your influencers - Surround yourself with positive and credible influences.
Protect your privacy like you’re famous - Stay in control of your personal information.
Cyber backing - Have each other's backs online (the opposite of cyberbullying).
Handle the pressure - Find your own path, no matter the pressure of others.
“Who you become [depends on] not just the people you surround yourself with,” advised Tierney. “I also think it's the content that we surround ourselves with every day that impacts the five inches between our ears. What brands are you following every day? Do they build your confidence? Or do they make you second guess yourself? What type of people are in your feed? Do they align with your values? Or do you find that they chip away at them? And it's not just about the people you look up to; it's also about the people who look up to you.”
Tierney also spoke about her own personal journey with the seven standards — from her college experience at Duke, where she played field hockey and got her first taste of working with social media, to her first job at ESPN, and now her life as an entrepreneur and mother.
“Frankly, at the end of the day,” she reflected, “I think I just learned the importance of being genuine, [that] it's not about inflating your likes or your followers. How can you have a presence that's truly genuine?”
Indeed, how can we each have a presence that is authentic and reflects the core values of respect, integrity, kindness, and service that Foxcroft encourages in us all?
While Tierney facilitated these discussions during her time on campus, her seven standards and the questions they generated will continue to help students and faculty alike refine our best practices and best selves so we all #WinAtSocial in the end.
An all-girls boarding and day school in Northern Virginia, Foxcroft prepares young women in grades 9-12 for success in college and in life. Our outstanding academic program offers challenging courses, including Advanced Placement classes and an innovative STEM program. Our premiere equestrian program is nationally recognized, and our athletic teams have won conference and state championships. Experience the best in girls' boarding schools: visit Foxcroft.