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 “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.
The article sites a report from TDG Research, 'A Primary Profile of Cord Cutters and Cord Nevers', that found today, 87% of broadband households currently subscribe to a pay-TV service, a decline of almost five percentage points since 2010 but nonetheless a very strong indicator of the grip that pay-TV has an US households.
That being said, a growing number of broadband subscribers are now doing without pay-TV services altogether, having either “cut the cord” or never signed up to begin with in the first place.
Who are these 'Cord Nevers?" According to Jim Flynn, president of Massachusetts-based Overlook TV:
'They’re in their early 20s, just out of college, and for them, paying $100 or $200 a month for cable TV is just not an option. And they don’t feel bad about it. They’re part of this millennial generation who are perfectly happy getting all their video over the Internet.'
But then, other experts say this 'Millennial 'Cord Nevers' are destroying the TV and Cable TV business' conversation is a bunch of nonsense. What do you think?
Speaking of the Internet, Millennials and TV, here are some stats:
Internet & TV
In the US, the rise of the internet as a frequent source of entertainment is most dramatic in the 18-34 group, rising from 27 percent in 2009 to 42 percent in 2010.
In the US, 32 percent of 18-54 year olds look most frequently to the web for entertainment (compared with 58 percent watching TV).
The internet also ranked second in the UK, with 30 percent turning to the web most frequently, compared with 57 percent watching TV.
When Nancy Lublin, CEO of the teen social change organization DoSomething.org, started texting teenagers to help with her social advocacy organization, what she found was shocking -- they started texting back about their own problems, from bullying to depression to abuse.
Last year, Nancy and DoSomething.org started using text messaging to market these campaigns. They text over 250,000 teens a week. And have found texting to be 11x more effective than email.
DoSomething.org is a charity that runs national campaigns impacting causes teens care about. For example, Teens for Jeans collected more than 1mil pairs of jeans for homeless youth. Give a Spit registered 15,000 new donors for the bone marrow registry--and has already saved 8 lives!
Her new project is a text-only crisis line, and the results might be even more important than she expected.
Take 5 minutes and watch this video. It will literally change the way you look at texting.
Here's How To Help
As a startup subsidiary of DoSomething.org, Nancy and her team be able to leverage both the technological ability and experience from DoSomething.org to help launch the Crisis Text Line.
The Crisis Text Line will use text messaging to connect teens with support and resources. The goal is to create a national (and ultimately international) infrastructure to ensure that teens can use SMS to get help 24/7.
By donating to this project, you will help that teen who is being bullied and feels they have no whereto go. You will help the teen who is being sexually abused at home or the teen who has struggled with depression and is feeling suicidal. Your dollars could literally save lives.
The heroes team up to defeat the villain Mole Man and his evil army, all the while learning important financial skills. The action-packed comic features a budgeting worksheet, finance terms and more. There's even a free lesson plan on financial literacy for teachers.
The comic bookis being released around the world and is available in Arabic, Bahasa Indonesia, Chinese, English, French, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish.
Avengers: Saving The Day was created by Marvel storytellers, including veteran writer James Asmus (Generation Hope), and was designed by Andrea Di Vito (Avengers Academy).
A new online survey conducted by the website ParentPort reveals that, of those parents surveyed whose children watch films at home, 40% had allowed their children to watch a film classified above their age.
The survey of 1,800 respondents from the UK’s two largest online parenting communities –Mumsnet and Netmums – reveals the challenges and pressures parents face when it comes to keeping the media their children see age-appropriate.
Of those parents surveyed whose children play video games, a quarter (25%) had allowed their children to play games classified above their age.
Furthermore, 16% of parents surveyed said they had bought their children a device or gadget – such as a games console or MP3 player – which they themselves did not fully understand how to use.
However, the parents surveyed did not just give into their children’s appetite for the media – many also closely supervise what their children see and use.
In fact, 82% of the parents surveyed claimed they always know what films and television programmes their children watch, and 77% said they always or usually know what websites their children visit.
Meanwhile, the survey also uncovers parents’ boundaries when it comes to media, with one in eight of the parents surveyed reporting concern that Christmas presents their child had received were inappropriate for their age.
Some reported being worried their youngsters would have unsupervised access to the internet through smartphones and laptops given as gifts. Others cited well-meaning friends and family overstepping the mark – with examples of pre-teens unwrapping presents of 18-rated video games, and under-tens receiving 12-rated DVDs.
Overall, the parents surveyed recognised the contribution the media makes to their children’s lives. Over half (52%) of the parents surveyed thought films and DVDs generally played a positive role in their children’s lives. Forty-nine per cent cited television as also having a positive effect, and 48% believed the internet also made a good contribution to their children’s lives. (via)
That's been the prediction for a while now, born of numbers showing that fewer than one in 10 teens were using Twitter early on.
But then their parents, grandparents, neighbors, parents' friends and anyone in-between started friending them on Facebook, the social networking site of choice for many – and a curious thing began to happen.
Suddenly, their space wasn't just theirs anymore. So more young people have started shifting to Twitter, almost hiding in plain sight.
"I love twitter, it's the only thing I have to myself ... cause my parents don't have one," Britteny Praznik, a 17-year-old who lives outside Milwaukee, gleefully tweeted recently.
"Facebook is like shouting into a crowd. Twitter is like speaking into a room."
While she still has a Facebook account, she joined Twitter last summer, after more people at her high school did the same. "It just sort of caught on," she says.
Teens tout the ease of use and the ability to send the equivalent of a text message to a circle of friends, often a smaller one than they have on crowded Facebook accounts.
They can have multiple accounts and don't have to use their real names. They also can follow their favorite celebrities and, for those interested in doing so, use Twitter as a soapbox.