"Sounds good my man, seeya soon, ill tw": Alexander Heit apparently typed that text message when he drifted into oncoming traffic, jerked the steering wheel, and then went off the road and rolled his car.
Now the parents of the 22-year-old, who died in the crash, hope that a photo of these words will serve as a stark warning for others not to text while driving.
Social media and text messaging have assumed a dominant role in communication among adolescent society. And, as common in teenage social environments, these circumstances often involve online teasing and harassing. This has become known as “cyber bullying”.
Delaware state Attorney General, Beau Biden, describes cyber bullying as a communication that “interferes with a student's physical well-being, is threatening or intimidating, or is so severe, persistent, or pervasive that it is likely to limit a student's ability to participate in or benefit from the educational programs of the school.”
According to Delaware Online, the state recently implemented a law enforcing that schools penalize cyber bullying issues the same as they would for incidents that happen within school walls.
Many states have begun to implement similar laws enforcing stricter punishments for those engaged in cyber bullying, and sometimes the victims are not only teens. NPR recently addressed a North Carolina law that was passed to protect teachers against bullying from their students.
A teacher at the Charlotte-Mecklenburg School had a student create a fake Twitter account under the teacher's identity, and posted offensive comments. Under new laws, students charged with such offenses could potentially face a month in jail and fines of up to $1,000.00.
The recent International Journal of Technoethics article “Cyberbullying: A Sociological Approach” evaluates the concepts of bullying and cyber bullying and addresses the emerging nature of these occurrences: “Cyberbullying has become a major social concern because it raises questions about the ethical use of technology.
In recent years, this has been the subject of research and information and prevention activities for different groups such as governmental and non-governmental organizations and schools and parents’ associations to protect against the misuse of technology.”
Written by José Neves and Luzia de Oliveira Pinheiro of the University of Minho, Portugal, the article features studies evaluating Portuguese University students in observation and focus groups, interviews, and investigations that aims to explore and define the characteristics of cyberbullying in Portugal.
UK teens have a significant presence online and are at the leading edge of many digital behaviors, according to a survey conducted by Research Now and initiated by K&A BrandResearch.
When UK teens go online—whether via PC or mobile—using search engines to seek out information is their No. 1 activity, in line with the ubiquity of this action among older age groups as well.
The next two most popular activities showed the ways in which teens’ digital priorities may somewhat diverge from older consumers.
Just about 80% of UK teens said they went online to visit social networks. And another seven out of 10 used the internet to listen to music. These responses beat out email, watching video and playing games as teens’ primary digital activities.
Quick. Here's a test: Stand-up straight with your feet together in front of a mirror and look for a space between your upper thighs. If you see a gap, you have the latest body image obsession teen girls are starving themselves to achieve.
The 'thigh gap', as it is known, is a new teen girl obsession with a huge following on social media sites like Tumblr, YouTube and Instagram.
The trend is fueled by digital media and magazines that feature celebrities with the elusive 'thigh gap'---which is, in most cases, the work of a highly skilled Photoshop guru and not so much based on reality.
Exposure to this dangerous body image trend is just an app click away---girls can read tweets from Supermodel Cara Delevingne about her thigh gap on Twitter or scroll through thousands of thigh gaps on Tumblr with images of ultrathin women in bikinis, super short skirts, and lingerie, all baring thighs so thin they don't touch.
Whether or not this is a widespread trend or just a blip across teen culture is yet to be seen. However, this is another example of where parents, teachers and youth pastors need to step-in and faciliate a discussion about body image, social media and celebrity culture with their kids.
And remember, body image issues aren't just a 'teen girl' issue.
In Los Angeles, a practice known as swatting has become an alarming trend — a series of hoax 911 calls claiming serious incidents at the homes of celebrities. A string of them happened just this week, prompting police SWAT teams to respond in force.
Earlier this year, a 12-year-old boy was charged with making false threats about supposed incidents at the homes of Justin Bieber and actor Ashton Kutcher. Other swatting targets over the last year include "The X Factor" judge Simon Cowell, singer Miley Cyrus and the Kardashian-Jenner family.
This new award is open to current U.S. music teachers from kindergarten through college, in public and private schools.
Anyone can nominate a teacher — students, parents, friends, colleagues, community members, school deans and administrators — and teachers are also able to nominate themselves. Nominated teachers will be notified and invited to fill out an application.
One winner will be selected from 10 finalists each year to be recognized for their remarkable impact on their students' lives. The first award will be presented during GRAMMY Week 2014.
The winner will be flown to Los Angeles to accept the award, attend the GRAMMY Awards, and receive a $10,000 honorarium. The nine finalists will receive a $1,000 honorarium.
The honorariums provided to the winners are made possible by a grant from the Ford Motor Company Fund. This new partnership with the Ford Motor Company Fund expands their financial support of GRAMMY Foundation music education initiatives.
The nomination process is open now and the deadline for nominations is April 15, 2013
There is a chance that you are reading this post on a tablet or smartphone. In fact, you might even be dividing your attention between these words and a nearby TV or laptop. If that’s the case, you are in good company.
According to an infographic created and sponsored by Uberflip, 81% of Americans use a smartphone and watch TV simultaneously. The biggest use of the second screen appears to be social networking, and watching TV, it’s easy enough to see networks strive to make the connection.
Nearly every reality show has related hashtags flash by occasionally, encouraging viewers to weigh in on Twitter, which is the biggest drivers of social TV, with 33% of users tweeting about it last June. (via)