In 2003, Steve Chapelle was configuring a wireless network at the home of a Toronto teacher when she described how several students at her school had been posting hurtful and unacceptable comments about another student on a website. The teacher said that in addition to dealing with the misbehaviour, the parents needed someone to help them understand the basics of the situation; could Steve help?
At that point, ‘social media’ as a concept was relatively new, but he began considering how others could be equipped with the tools to manage their children’s involvement in these emerging activities. Gradually he developed a seminar and in 2006 offered it to neighbourhood parents at a nearby public library. Though still a full-time corporate employee, he delivered evening seminars at a handful of Toronto-area schools over the next two years and was asked if he could also speak to students. School-day seminars were not possible with a Monday-Friday daytime job, so in 2009 he decided to commit to social media behaviour education as a full-time career.
As the platforms and methods for digital information exchange grew, so did privacy and security violations, blurring the distinction between personal and professional activities. Organizations of various demographics and sizes also needed help managing their members’ online activities, so he broadened best practices training to include professional associations, and then retirees.
Steve was born and grew up in Toronto, Ontario, where he lives with his wife and two young adult children. Prior to his work in social media research and education, he spent over 20 years in information technology management, analysis and customer service, primarily in the financial services sector. His information management experience has included security, availability and disaster recovery planning. He is also an instructor and developer at the Udemy online course platform, and the author of ‘No Decision: The 1919 Stanley Cup Final’ about the Spanish Flu pandemic, available at Amazon.