The mass majority of society will agree that children have it much easier today and the ease is birthed from the hundreds of technological advancements of the new millennium. Yet, there are aspects of life for children and teens today where these technological advancements can lead masses to say that youth have it much harder today, than previous generations. As if the bullying Screech faced in "Saved by the Bell" wasn’t bad enough, kids are threatened day to day by virtual bullies as well. Power and control is exerted over peers through texting, Facebook, Twitter, email accounts, Internet chat rooms and the like.
According to Pew Research Center, 73 percent of online youth in the United States use some type of social networking. The sharing of such information through such social media provides easy access for peers to attack one another, harm feelings and embarrass others.
Cyberbullying is now illegal in most states with real consequences. Assistant professor in the University of Missouri School of Social Work, Dale Fitch, says restricting how social media is used can help to avoid lawsuits and other possible liabilities that could result from cyberbullying. Furthermore, he advocates that children in the foster care system should have such guidelines.
Social media, as well as KidsPeace’s site TeenCentral.Net
, encourages teens to use the Internet to share their stories, but in an article on phys.org
, Fitch says, “Working with [teens] to safely use social media is a huge step.”
While a large focus of KidsPeace is to provide foster care to youth throughout the nation, it is important for us to advocate for safe social media use. KidsPeace believes safety is a primary need and fundamental right of every person. America’s future depends upon emotionally healthy and physically safe people. Every American – especially teachers, counselors and children’s group leaders – has a unique responsibility to positively nurture, respect and safeguard people.
For 130 years KidsPeace has given hope, help and healing to children, families and communities throughout the country and as the technological times change our mission stays the same; it’s our approach that continues to change. As the web becomes more popular with the teenagers of today, we continue to cater our web sources accordingly. As wicked auras come to attack children, we take our stand to safeguard. KidsPeace stands against cyber-bullying. The organization has added cyberbullying to its list of teen topics on the interventional website TeenCentral.Net
. Our wish is that KidsPeace provides an outlet to express identities, to share stories and to reach out minus the judgment, embarrassment and threats of harm.