It’s Simply Not Your News to Break: #StayInYourLane

Originally published in the IACP Social Media Blog.  Guest Blogger: Chris Hsiung, Captain, Special Operations Division, Mountain View Police Department, California Three years ago, Northern California law enforcement was rocked by horrific news when the Hayward Police Department suffered the … Continue reading

Originally published in the IACP Social Media Blog. 

Guest Blogger: Chris Hsiung, Captain, Special Operations Division, Mountain View Police Department, California

Three years ago, Northern California law enforcement was rocked by horrific news when the Hayward Police Department suffered the tragic loss of Sgt. Scott Lunger, shot and killed in the line of duty on July 22nd 2015.

As we see time and again across the country, news breaks on Twitter and other social media platforms and is then carried by the mainstream media.  It was no different for this case. Unfortunately, sometimes we in law enforcement are our own worst enemy. In the case above, it was other law enforcement departments that helped break the news of the officer’s death on Twitter, instead of the primary jurisdiction handling the incident. In the interest of breaking news first, the mainstream media does not hesitate to rely on a tweet from any credible law enforcement social media account to act as their source for verification of information.

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In the case of Sgt. Lunger’s incident, many of us watched the news break that morning about the officer involved shooting. The official tweet from Hayward PD that morning (shown above) advised that they were not releasing the condition of the officer. We can safely assume that during that time, Hayward PD personnel were in the midst of identifying, locating, and delivering the tragic news to Sgt. Lunger’s family. At the same time, we know that in any OIS or critical incident, a flurry of text messages go out and it doesn’t take much time for our tight-knit law enforcement family in neighboring jurisdictions to figure out what happened. Hayward PD officially tweeted the tragic news of Sgt. Lunger’s passing a little over two hours later. Unfortunately, many well-intentioned agencies started to tweet condolences or had changed their profile photos to include mourning badges up to an hour before Hayward PD had an opportunity to officially announce the information. The mainstream media immediately picked up on these tweets and shifted their reporting to announce that Sgt. Lunger had died, many running screen shots of law enforcement tweets as part of their “breaking news” reporting.

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For the record, I absolutely believe these agencies and law enforcement individuals were well-meaning when they sent these posts and tweets. However, we must remind ourselves to take a step back and remember that family and loved ones of the downed officer come first. If tragedy strikes, they deserve to hear it in person from our own personnel, not on social media. Therefore, before tweeting or posting sympathy messages, it is imperative to go to the affected agency’s social media accounts or website and see what they have officially announced. Until then, we must maintain “radio [and social media] silence” out of respect and allow the affected agency to make proper notifications.  In the parlance of public information officers, we call this “staying in your lane.”  It’s simply not your news to break.

On a similar note, news of critical incidents can spread virally from internal department sources as “significant others” or family members post information about a critical incident to each other’s Facebook walls. As the extended law enforcement family learns of an officer’s passing, many people begin to change their profile photos to mourning bands or “thin blue line” logos. These posts and avatar changes, while absolutely done out of sympathy and respect, can prematurely announce the bad news to the fallen officer’s family (who will likely be in the extended social network). To that end, departments should take time to inform and educate their personnel and family members that, they too, should wait and defer to official news from the department so that the officer’s family can hear the tragic news in person.

What can we do? Let’s all take a step back and make a commitment. When a line of duty death occurs, remember to check the affected agency’s social media channels for official news and notifications prior to discussing the incident from your department social media channels. Train your personnel to do the same on their personal accounts so that if tragedy strikes, we allow the hard news to be done in person, not online. Just because the media is posting somber photos of officers gathered at a hospital or making inferences about the status of an officer, most will usually refrain from an official announcement until they see the news coming from police department accounts. Your well intentioned tweet just became verification for the media to put out “breaking news.”

I was recently talking about this topic with Capt. Zach Perron from Palo Alto PD and he summed up the situation perfectly saying, “In today’s law enforcement social media environment, where a premium is often placed on the timeliness of information dissemination, I think it’s important to have a “line of duty injury/death” exception.  There should not be a “rush to be first” in these situations.  It’s not a competition to see who can express their condolences fastest.  The only police agency that should “break” news of their officer’s condition should be the employing agency, plain and simple.

from https://theiacpblog.org

Statement of IACP President Louis M. Dekmar on Recent Tragedies and the Need for Immediate Action on Firearms Policy

We mourn the loss of the victims of the school shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, and pray for those that were injured in this horrific attack. With each mass shooting, the global policing community grieves … Continue reading

We mourn the loss of the victims of the school shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, and pray for those that were injured in this horrific attack. With each mass shooting, the global policing community grieves with the victims, their families, first responders and the communities they serve.

As we grieve for the victims of the Florida shooting, we are also torn with sadness over the loss of the 18 officers killed in the United States in the first six weeks of 2018; 12 which were killed by a firearm. The violence against police experienced so far this year is a stark reminder of the dangers law enforcement face each day protecting their communities.

Law enforcement leaders, community members, policymakers, advocacy groups and others must come together to have a thoughtful discussion on a path forward. The first step is having a critical policy dialogue on steps we can take, together, to minimize the devastation caused by gun violence – focused on expanded background checks, closing the gun show loophole, limiting access to silencers/suppressors and putting measures in place that prevent persons affected by mental illness from acquiring firearms.

IACP is prepared to lead the above needed policy discussions.

from https://theiacpblog.org

How Can You Partner Worldwide to Support Your Missing Children Investigations?

Guest Blogger: Insp. Carole Bird (Retired), formerly Officer in Charge of the National Centre for Missing Persons and Unidentified Remains, Royal Canadian Mounted Police, Canada.  Member of the Board of Directors of the Missing Children Society of Canada and AMBER … Continue reading

Guest Blogger: Insp. Carole Bird (Retired), formerly Officer in Charge of the National Centre for Missing Persons and Unidentified Remains, Royal Canadian Mounted Police, Canada.  Member of the Board of Directors of the Missing Children Society of Canada and AMBER Alert Europe and consultant for the International Centre for Missing & Exploited Children (ICMEC).

When asked to develop and implement Canada’s national centre to assist law enforcement and death investigators with missing person and unidentified remains investigations, the challenges ranged from developing technical solutions to changing how these investigations were viewed by investigators.

It was readily apparent that to achieve our mandate, we needed to engage in dialogue – dialogue with other law enforcement agencies in Canada; dialogue with the private sector, which could help us reach out to the public; and dialogue with non-governmental agencies (NGOs), which could work alongside law enforcement to help advance efforts to locate missing children.

Working with other law enforcement agencies included consulting on national database design as well as on the development of training and consultative forums designed to advance investigations. Working with the private sector entailed collaborative efforts with companies who could extend our reach to the public via non-traditional communication avenues.  For example, we worked with MSN.ca which developed a series of articles highlighting types of missing person investigations and which hosted a Cold Case Corner on MSN.ca.

Working with NGOs

Domestically, these dialogues contributed to the development of strategies and programs investigators would utilize when appropriate. Investigators wanting to push information to the public, in addition to conventional rapid emergency child alerts, could contact the Missing Children Society of Canada to have the alert sent out to any specified geographical area via their Search Program.

Working Internationally

Internationally, working with ICMEC’s Global Missing Children’s Center provides unique advantages.  These include the opportunity to work collaboratively through the Global Missing Children’s Network (GMCN) to:

  • share best practices and research to support prevention efforts and investigations;
  • participate in coordinated efforts to raise global awareness;
  • access digital tools to assist in the search and recovery; and
  • participate in a global community working together to ensure appropriate response when a child goes missing.

ICMEC’s GMCN consists of 27 member countries, with law enforcement and NGOs coordinating together to help keep children safe. Through the GMCN, ICMEC provides members with access to technology, tools, resources (including a global missing children’s database), and practitioners and experts in other countries who can easily be consulted with regarding investigational approaches, the development of programs or the delivery of training.

This community has proven to be invaluable.  For example, when a Canadian police officer contacted the Canadian national centre at the initial stages of an unidentified child investigation with elements of child trafficking, the circumstances prompted an outreach from the Canadian GMCN representative to one in The Netherlands.  Through a discussion regarding the circumstances of the investigation, the Dutch GMCN representative pointed to a case in Ireland that resembled the case at hand. The case information that had been published in Irish newspapers was sent to the investigator in Canada who immediately determined that the alleged victim in the Irish investigation was the same alleged victim in Canada.  While the investigation in Ireland had taken significant time and resources to investigate, Canadian investigators benefitted from their efforts and were able to conclude the case forthwith. This was wholly as a result of the ease with which GMCN participants could reach out to one another informally.

Customized Training

ICMEC also works with countries to provide training to law enforcement and prosecutors as well as representatives from justice departments, social services, NGOs, and other child-serving entities.  Tailored to the needs of the requesting country and provided by recognized experts in the field of missing children, the training focuses on:

  • applicable laws, policies and procedures;
  • effective investigative techniques, roles and responsibilities;
  • use of risk assessments and search techniques;
  • links between child sexual exploitation and missing children;
  • public alerts and rapid emergency child alert systems;
  • awareness, prevention and the need for family advocacy;
  • case scenarios.

The training frequently includes representatives from neighbouring countries who provide an overview of their missing children issue.  This approach helps to broker dialogues regarding consistent approaches and standards within geographical areas while also providing an opportunity for participants to network in their regions.

Knowledge Sharing

ICMEC’s GMCN provides a forum for law enforcement and NGOs to share knowledge, raise awareness, and develop coordinated approaches. By joining the GMCN, members become a part of the global solution to the issues of missing and abducted children. For a complete list of GMCN membership benefits, check out the GMCN Member Brochure, or hear GMCN members explain in their own words why they are members.

Partnering with competent and capable NGOs, both domestically and internationally, can provide you with opportunities to more quickly and more effectively respond to missing children investigations.

from https://theiacpblog.org

Using Social Media to Reach Your Community and Beyond

This blog series highlights some of the top Social Media Beat posts from the last couple years. For more information about IACP’s Center for Social Media visit the project webpage. This post was originally published on Tuesday, March 15, 2016. … Continue reading

This blog series highlights some of the top Social Media Beat posts from the last couple years. For more information about IACP’s Center for Social Media visit the project webpage. This post was originally published on Tuesday, March 15, 2016.

By: Ann Stephens, Captain, Criminal Investigations Commander, Public Information Officer, and Social Media Coordinator, Apex, North Carolina, Police Department

In the past 10 years, the use of social media and the number of social media platforms has skyrocketed and everyone from the greatest generation to millennials is using some form of social media. Right now this is one of greatest resources to not only share information with our community but it’s also a great way for agencies to gain insight into their community and grab ideas from other departments.

How far can a single social media post reach and what impact can that one post have on another community? Well, we recently learned that very thing!

We received a Facebook message from someone with a picture of an Internet Purchase Exchange Location sign and said they thought it would be a good idea. I researched the program and found that it was simple. Provide a location for people to exchange items they purchased off sites such as Craigslist or Facebook so they didn’t have to provide their home address to a stranger. We thought: we can do that! We purchased two signs, used two pre-existing parking spots in our parking lot and then sent it out via Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. We were shocked at what happened next… we went viral!!! A small town in North Carolina with 4,700 Facebook followers, with one single Facebook post, reached more than 3.7 million people in two weeks and gained over 2,000 likes to our page.

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Our post generated talk between residents of other communities and their police departments about starting similar programs in their communities. I have spoken with agencies from as close as next door to Daily City, California; to Palmer, Alaska about the program and how to start one. We were also tagged in a Facebook post from the McCraken County Sheriff’s Department in Kentucky giving us credit for the idea when promoting their new program.

The great thing about social media is it doesn’t have to be a big program or serious event to get your department national coverage. Our agency was recently in USA Today because of a tweet about our local peacock. Yes, a tweet about a peacock put our agency in a national newspaper!

Using Social Media to Reach 2

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We tweeted and posted a picture of our local peacock crossing the street and that was all it took. Over 78,000 people reached, our population is only 48,000.

When using social media have fun! We are human just like everyone else and the public likes to see that. We have embraced emojis and responding to tweets. For example, we enjoyed the Super Bowl as much as the next and mixed safety messages into our tweets.

Using Social Media to Reach 4

 

Using Social Media to Reach 5

And sometimes we just have fun!
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One student compared his lunch to jail food with #schoollunchmatters… Well we couldn’t let that slip by.

Using Social Media to Reach 8

Find your local celebrities (news anchors, weathermen, sports figures, and teams), school systems, local businesses, and follow them. The more people you follow and interact with the more exposure your agency gets.

We post information about safety, crime tips, and press releases but posts like the Internet program and the peacock brings more people to our page than anything else. More people to the page means more people see those safety tips. Embrace the fun of social media!

The power of social media can have on your department is amazing. Use it to your benefit. We regularly look at what other agencies are doing in community outreach, crime prevention, and just for fun posts. Social media is a great way to reach your community and beyond.

 

from https://theiacpblog.org

Recognize Your Law Enforcement Leaders of Tomorrow: 40 Under 40

The IACP 40 Under 40 award program is designed to recognized individuals in law enforcement under the age of 40 who demonstrate leadership and commitment to the profession. All individuals under 40  who are employed by law enforcement agencies in … Continue reading

40 Under 40 Logo_smallThe IACP 40 Under 40 award program is designed to recognized individuals in law enforcement under the age of 40 who demonstrate leadership and commitment to the profession. All individuals under 40  who are employed by law enforcement agencies in sworn or nonsworn positions are eligible for the awardpast awardees have included patrol officers, mid-level command officers, chiefs of police, detectives, crime analysts, crime laboratory staff, sheriff deputies, and public information officers, to name a few. Any type of law enforcement agency—local, state, tribal, and federal—from anywhere in the world can nominate employees.

IACP 40 Under 40 Eligibility requirements:

  • Between 18 and 39 years of age as of September 1, 2018
  • Employed by a law enforcement agency
  • Demonstrates values and commitment to law enforcement
  • Shows capacity for leadership

Nominees should be those who have actively worked to make a difference in their agency and community and who are motivated to build relationships and develop innovative solutions. Awardees often serve as informal mentors for their peers or newer officers and show a capacity to lead others.

In addition to recognition, the 40 Under 40 awardees receive benefits to help them progress in their career, including complimentary registration to the 2018 IACP Annual Conference and Exposition (Oct. 6–9, Orlando, Florida) and a complimentary one-year membership to the IACP with all its attendant member benefits.

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This is a chance for law enforcement agencies to recognize the rising leaders within their agency who  have the leadership and dedication that is essential to lead law enforcement now and in the future.

The 2018 40 Under 40 award is open for nominations until March 1, 2018. Nominate your leaders today!

For questions or concerns, please contact Danielle Gudakunst (800.THE.IACP x 321).

 

 

 

 

from https://theiacpblog.org

Get Your (Art)Work Recognized!

The IACP is holding two exciting contests: a police-community engagement photo contest and a patch design contest to commemorate the association’s 125th anniversary. Police Chief Magazine Photo Contest Coretta Scott King once said, “The greatness of a community is most … Continue reading

March-2016The IACP is holding two exciting contests: a police-community engagement photo contest and a patch design contest to commemorate the association’s 125th anniversary.

Police Chief Magazine Photo Contest

Coretta Scott King once said, “The greatness of a community is most accurately measured by the compassionate actions of its members.”

The IACP recognizes the importance and value in building and maintaining relationships and partnerships in diverse communities, and ensuring equal respect and treatment of all who are involved.

With this philosophy in mind, we are launching the Police Chief Magazine Photography Contest, which is designed to showcase your agency’s work in the communities you serve.

Have you witnessed outstanding work in your neighborhood and you want to show that excellence, excitement, or effective communication? Snap some photos of real-life agency personnel in action and submit them to the contest.

The Grand Prize winner will be featured on the cover of the Police Chief’s August 2018 edition which is themed “Community-Police Engagement.”

Plus, if your photo submission is selected as a runner-up, you have a chance of seeing it in Police Chief, as well!

The official social media hashtag for the contest is #PCMagContest. Also, don’t forget to tag us on Twitter at @theIACP or #PoliceChiefMag.

Guidelines, the submission form, and more information can be found at Police Chief Online.

Patch imagesIACP’s 125th Anniversary Patch Design Contest

The IACP is holding a Patch Design Contest to commemorate the association’s 125th anniversary. Submit a design that showcases the rich history and forward momentum of the association. The winning patch will be revealed at the 2018 Annual Conference and Exposition in Orlando, Florida.

For more information, email the contest staff at 125th@theiacp.org or follow the hashtag on social media #IACP125th.

The greatest value of the IACP lies in you, our members, and this is a great way to get your hard work and service recognized. Submit a photograph or patch design today!

 

 

 

from https://theiacpblog.org

IACP Selects Six Agencies to be part of the Integrity, Action, and Justice: Strengthening Law Enforcement Response to Domestic and Sexual Violence national demonstration initiative.

The IACP is pleased to announce the law enforcement agencies that have been selected to be part of the Integrity, Action, and Justice: Strengthening Law Enforcement Response to Domestic and Sexual Violence national demonstration initiative. Through a competitive application process, … Continue reading

The IACP is pleased to announce the law enforcement agencies that have been selected to be part of the Integrity, Action, and Justice: Strengthening Law Enforcement Response to Domestic and Sexual Violence national demonstration initiative. Through a competitive application process, the following agencies were identified to be part of the initiative:

  • City of Shawnee, Oklahoma, Police Department
  • Clark County, Ohio, Sheriff’s Office
  • Denton, Texas, Police Department
  • Iowa City, Iowa, Police Department
  • Nampa, Idaho, Police Department
  • Vancouver, Washington, Police Department

This initiative, in response to the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) guidance,  Identifying and Preventing Gender Bias in Law Enforcement’s Response to Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence will provide dedicated resources, on-going support, and comprehensive training and technical assistance to the selected agencies to build their capacity and raise awareness of the existence and impact of gender bias on responses to domestic and sexual violence. Administrator of Support Services, Chris Thomas of the Shawnee, Oklahoma, Police Department, highlighted that “improving the quality of the response given to victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking in our community is imperative.”

Throughout the duration of the initiative, the selected agencies, in partnership with the IACP, the DOJ, Office for Victims of Crime (OVC), the National Crime Victim Law Institute (NCVLI), and cadre of subject matter experts, will collaborate to identify aspects of agency culture that may create or sustain biases, develop sustainable strategies to address and eliminate the impact of bias on the response to and investigation of sexual and domestic violence, and implement trauma-informed, victim-centered procedures agency-wide. Domestic violence investigator, Scott Stevens of the Iowa City Police Department, stated that “creating a better response to crimes committed against the LGBTQ+ community and eliminating gender bias will ensure all officers are enabled to recognize microaggressions that come from implicit bias and understand how to address and re-work those issues.” We congratulate these agencies for their dedication and commitment to strengthening their response and investigations of these crimes and look forward to the partnership ahead.

For more resources and additional details regarding available tools and training events to address violence against women, visit the IACP’s Violence Against Women Projects page or contact Tina Dimachkieh, IACP Project Manager, at dimachkieh@theiacp.org.

from https://theiacpblog.org

Statement by the IACP on the U.S. Department of Justice Decision to Rescind the Cole Memo

Today, the U.S. Department of Justice announced it will be rescinding the Cole Memo and that it will restore discretion to U.S. Attorneys on how they prioritize the investigation and prosecution of violations of federal drug laws involving marijuana. The … Continue reading

Today, the U.S. Department of Justice announced it will be rescinding the Cole Memo and that it will restore discretion to U.S. Attorneys on how they prioritize the investigation and prosecution of violations of federal drug laws involving marijuana. The IACP strongly supports this policy change.

In 2013, the Cole memo announced how the U.S. Department of Justice would alter its enforcement efforts regarding the federal law as it relates to marijuana legalization. At that time, the IACP announced its opposition to the Cole Memo because of its longstanding position against the legalization of marijuana and the public safety risks it imposes to communities. Today’s action by the Department of Justice is consistent with IACP policy and would allow for legal action to preempt the state marijuana legalization laws that conflict with federal law; and enable U.S. Attorneys to enforce federal law concerning marijuana as Congress intended when it enacted the Controlled Substances Act.

from https://theiacpblog.org

IACP Celebrates its 125th Anniversary

When Chief Webber Seavey of the Omaha, Nebraska, Police Department met with police chiefs from across the United States in 1893 in Chicago, Illinois, he probably could not have envisioned the endurance of the organization that was created that year. … Continue reading

125th_IACP_Logo_pms_285_445When Chief Webber Seavey of the Omaha, Nebraska, Police Department met with police chiefs from across the United States in 1893 in Chicago, Illinois, he probably could not have envisioned the endurance of the organization that was created that year.

Since 1893, the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) has grown into a leader in law enforcement worldwide, reaching more than 30,000 members in more than 150 countries. Our members are the reason for the organization’s longevity and this year, we invite you to celebrate with us.

2018 marks the IACP’s 125th anniversary. It will be a year of celebration as well as one of reflection, to look back on all we have done and to look forward to all that we can do in the next 125 years.

Some ways you can participate in the celebration:

Join IACP for $125 in January: The IACP is inviting new members to join for $125 throughout the month of January, a savings of $25. Already a member? This is a great opportunity to encourage a colleague to join.

Share Milestones: Send us your photos, stories, and memories to be highlighted on our anniversary webpage. You can share on social media by using the hashtag #IACP125th or email them to 125th@theiacp.org.

Patch Contest: The IACP is holding a patch design contest to commemorate the association’s 125th anniversary. Submit a design that showcases the rich history and forward momentum of the association. The winning patch will be revealed at the 2018 Annual Conference.

There will be much more to come throughout the year, all of which will culminate at the 2018 Annual Conference this October. Visit the 125th Anniversary webpage for updates or follow the hashtag #IACP125th on social media.

from https://theiacpblog.org

Understanding Social Media 101

This blog series highlights some of the top Social Media Beat posts from the last couple years. For more information about IACP’s Center for Social Media visit the project webpage. This post was originally published on Wednesday, March 23, 2016. … Continue reading

This blog series highlights some of the top Social Media Beat posts from the last couple years. For more information about IACP’s Center for Social Media visit the project webpage. This post was originally published on Wednesday, March 23, 2016.

Guest Blogger: Dionne Waugh, Digital Communications Manager for the Jefferson County, Colorado, Sheriff’s Office

Many of the blogs you read on here go into great detail about social media strategy, how a new platform works, and tips for how you can be the most successful at using different platforms.

But something critical that’s often overlooked is a basic understanding of how and why social media even matters to many employees.

For those that don’t work in Public Affairs, Investigations, or aren’t under say 30 years of age, social media is not something that’s native to their daily lives. And yet they know it’s important to their agency, their kids, and the world as a whole today and they WANT to understand it. They just don’t know how to go about doing that.

That’s what inspired me to start holding monthly classes at the sheriff’s office where any employee could come and ask any question they had about social media. Want to know what Twitter is and how it works? How about how to make sure your Facebook settings are set appropriately? In this class, you could ask any question you want.

I wanted everyone to know that this was their time to ask any question they had and that there was no such thing as a stupid question. The response has been incredible! Even though I manage social media every day and often explain how different aspects work, I had no idea folks had so many questions about it, especially just the basics.

Since we have a variety of employees, sworn and civilian, who work on different shifts, our office crafted this email sent out to everyone in the sheriff’s office:

Understanding Social Media 1

Understanding Social Media 2

In the sessions we’ve had in the past two months, I’ve had employees from nearly every single division attend as well as received emails from others who plan to attend in the future. I’ve also received emails from employees requesting different dates so that they could attend on days off or other times that better suited their schedule.

I have held the meetings in a conference room with a big screen so we could easily bring up all the platforms on the computer. Most of them just wanted to understand how different social media platforms worked, why people used them, and how they could use them—or not use them—in their own lives. We talked about everything from Facebook and Twitter, to Nextdoor, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Snapchat. We also set up a Twitter account for one employee and helped another follow the sheriff’s office on Twitter. One employee even brought his spouse so that they could both learn, which I thought was truly great.

Another employee emailed me “I do want you to know that I am glad that you are offering this class.  There are times that my husband and son talk about all the different apps and programs available and I am completely lost.”

A lot of us who use social media every day often forget that there are just as many people out there who DON’T use it and therefore don’t get it. By helping others understand it on their level, you improve their skills, gain their buy-in and just get an overall warm and fuzzy feeling of helping someone. That’s a win for everyone.

from https://theiacpblog.org