Author, J. J. Cannon, Freelance Writer and Social Media Pro, is fascinated and inspired, not only by the dichotomy of the not quite emotionally mature 8-10 year old socially active set, but girls of all ages who are interested in definitive guidelines for what constitutes appropriate online behavior.
“Sophie” symbolizes every young girl, tween and teen (maybe even Mom or Grandma) in possession of a smart device, which the Author likens to a stick of dynamite if used without proper guidance. The whole wide world opens up to Sophie who can now be in constant communication with friends and share anything in an instant on her favorite social media site…but should she? Sophie loves KiK-ing it and snapping selfies on Instagram but realizes that things can get complicated in a hurry! Why are people leaving mean comments? How come she wasn’t invited to the party she’s seeing pics of in her feed? Why are kids bullying each other with hateful and humiliating words? Sophie is not perfect. She is going to make mistakes but, together, we can try to guide her in a healthy direction.
With her own young daughters in mind, the Author gives us the #SweetSixteen, thoughtfully written “Rules” with a touch of humor, starting with #Keep It Classy. This first rule encourages young people to consider the many alternatives to overused, less than lady-like acronyms. “All of this LMFAO and OMFG-ing is worn out” Cannon writes, and laments the poor letter ‘F’ being needlessly dragged through the mud. The incredibly adorable illustration accompanying this rule is “My Fair Sophie”, a nod to the timeless brilliance of Audrey Hepburn in “My Fair Lady”. #Be Kind, asks readers to refrain from using, liking or sharing hate speak of any kind and includes suggestions about what to do if you see it. #Beware the Over-Share asks young people to think about the kind of digital footprint they want to leave and consider future colleges and/or bosses who will likely Google first and ask questions later.
The overall message throughout the uniquely named, positive reinforcing rules like #Take 5, #Worry Not, #Practice Perception, #Be Queen Bee, #Find Your Balance, #Protect Your Privacy, and the rest is to stop and think before you react to anything online. “@Sophie Takes a #Selfie” is about self-love, self-respect and self-worth.
Sophie learns the proper etiquette for sharing, reposting or tagging photos or artwork without permission, along with the age old, still relevant “if you can’t say something nice…”, and stresses that it is not ever, under any circumstance, necessary to tell someone he or she is ugly. “You should just go kill yourself.” The sad fact is that some kids do.
This book includes some eye-opening social statistics and invites readers to continue the conversation with the Author on the site she has created specifically for this book. She shares current information pertaining to kids and Social Media and, should you find yourself in a sticky social situation, feel free to “Ask Sophie”.