Teens Need Role Models, Not Facebook Fans
Please explain how the youth of today believes it's OK to publicly humiliate and verbally abuse others on the Web. I'm reaching out as a mother, a sister, a daughter, a friend and a concerned bystander. In an age where children are spending much of their free time online, teens need role models, not Facebook fans!
Threats of violence, verbal abuse and so many expletives, NC-17 wouldn't be a strong enough rating. I had the unfortunate experience today of stumbling across a Facebook page that contained all of the above. Thousands of teens across the world were participating in the chatter and parents were seemingly none the wiser.
Groups like Stop Bullying Speak Up are working diligently to get a handle on it, but the viral nature of social media is making it nearly impossible.
Is this how we are raising our kids?
As parents, we have the responsibility of educating our children on the importance of not only human decency, but also reputation management. Google is an unforgiving memory bank and the things our children post will likely follow them for life. Is the digital age making us numb? Are we so involved and hyper-connected that we put off saying today what should have been said yesterday?
Where is the problem?
Social media is the vehicle, but where is the problem? Peer pressure, bullying and the desire to fit in are all unfortunate rights of passage, but it's obviously evolved into something more viral and our children either aren't aware of or haven't been given the tools to cope. Tasteless memes with racist, sexist and crude undertones fill their feeds.
Children are impressionable. I find it difficult to believe that so many children were born with such ruthless tendancies so it would stand to reason that, in the great nature v nurture debate, this particular problem falls into the nurture category.
How do we fix it?
The problem is growing more rapidly than we could ever imagine. What can we do as elders to ensure our youth isn't trapped under the weight of the "I wish I knew then what I know now" mentality? How can we educate our children on the importance of respect both on and offline?
Please share your thoughts, ideas and stories below. We need to band together, identify the problem and resolve it before it's too late.
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Angela specializes in Social Media Marketing and is currently working with organizations in a multitude of industries from The United States to Australia. In addition to full Social Media Management, she also works to educate her network on ways to minimize risk and maximize profit through continued education, the development of comprehensive Marketing Plans, and continued guidance ...
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