Sunday, October 24, 2010

A Thin Line: Words/Wounds...(If You Were Ever Going To Read A Post of Mine, PLEASE, Make It This One!!!!)

Well, we all know that the majority of tweens, teens, and some younger kids have cell phones these days!
But do you, as the parent, actually know how your child is using their phone??
I mean are they using it only in an appropriate way??

Maybe you should check it out once in awhile. True this is snooping, but it could stop bullying before it gets too late. Many of you may remember the big news story about the teen girl who killed herself instead of going back to school for another day of being bullied by her classmates...

I mean when I was young I always remember people telling me that words cant hurt me!!
But...words do hurt me, and I'm sure they hurt you as well.
Remember, that riddle:
"Sticks and stones may break my bones,
but words will never hurt me."
Even back then, I though it was SO STUPID!!

Well, cell phones are being used more in more in inappropriate ways!! Do you know what they are??


MTV has put together a great campaign called A Thin Line and can be found at athinline.org
Words/Wounds
Insult/Injury
Following/Stalking
Delete/Forward
Him/The Whole School
Love/Abuse
Please take some time to check out this great site and then talk to your kids about it.
 Perhaps look at it together.

I'm going to hit on a few points here, but please visit the website to learn more!!

Ok, so first, let's take a look at some of the inappropriate ways cell phones are being used.

First I will list a term and then I will follow it with the definition.

Want to know more about sexting? Get the facts now.

Sexting: Sending or forwarding nude, sexually suggestive, or explicit pics on your cell or online. For some people, it's no big deal. But real problems can emerge when the parties involved are under 18, when people get pressured into sexting, and when sexts go viral.

Constant Messaging: Just what it sounds like. Constantly texting, IM'ing, or emailing a friend, bf/gf, frenemy, or anyone to keep tabs on or harass them.

Spying: Sneaking peeks at others' text message or call history, breaking into a friend or bf/gfs's inbox, or even digitally stalking them.


Digital Disrespect: Spreading negative or embarrassing dirt (true, untrue, or unknown, via text, pic or video) about someone behind their back or to their face.

Cruelty: Using digital platforms to intentionally make other people's lives miserable. For example: blackmail (making demands in exchange for not revealing something embarrassing or damaging about the victim); hate-mongering (spreading discriminatory, racist messages); direct threats, etc...


Ok, now that we are a little more familiar with the terms, let's see what we can do to help!!
I am taking these next few lines directly from the athinline.org website.

Support Others


Being harassed, threatened, or emotionally abused via your digital device is not fun. Here's how you can help your friends get through it and be a part of the solution, not the problem:

    •Listen. Sometimes a good long venting session can help people feel better, so offer to listen without judgment or comment.

   •Play nice/Think twice. Help friends, acquaintances, people you hardly know and even strangers    by NOT getting sucked into a feeding frenzy. Don't harass people online.

Be Part of the Solution

No matter how large or small, every action you take to increase national awareness of this issue is an important step. Educate yourself, inspire others to make a difference and be a part of the solution. Here are some ideas to get you started:

Spread the Word


•Add A Thin Line on Facebook, MySpace and Twitter

•Post A Thin Line banners

Submit your story, rate others' stories, and help define the line between innocent and inappropriate.

•Embed A Thin Line videos


Embed A Thin Line Quiz

------------------
My thoughts:

All of these things may seem harmless and probably funny to the person doing it.
But the victim, the one who is being harassed is probably really hurt by these things!!

I want to give you a few phone numbers that can also be found on that website...
But I strongly encourage/URGE you to either hang them up by the phone or
better yet, jot them down on a post-it note for your child
and give it to them. Chances are if they do need or want to use it...
they won't just come out and tell you!!

National Teen Dating Abuse Helpline
1-866-331-9474

National Suiside Prevention Lifeline
1-800-273-TALK 
that is
1-800-273-8255

Here are a couple of great and very informative websites as well.

This site gives ways to make you feel better!!

This site talks about sex and safe relationships!!

I hope this post helps someone!!
Please spread the word!!

~Steph

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