“Who did you help today?”
It is simple question, one that inspires empathy, encourages us to think beyond ourselves, and when answered demonstrates the true power the web holds.
For most of us, social media has changed our lives in some meaningful way because we were helped by someone. Collectively social media is changing the world for good because it demands and rewards individuals and communities who work feverishly to answer this question.
I want to turn our attention and conversation toward a community that desperately needs our help – bullied students.
- Did you know that nearly 1 in 3 students are involved in bullying?
- Did you know that while school violence as a whole is declining, bullying behaviors have increased by 5%?
- Did you know that kids who are obese, gay or have disabilities are up to 63% more likely to be bullied than other children?
- Did you know that last month alone, there were multiple suicide deaths as a result of bullying?
Bullying is an epidemic. Lots of tormentors. Lots of victims. Each one is somebody’s child.
Like the global recession or the fight to end poverty, cyber crime is now everyone’s problem. It impacts every business and every person in the world who has an Internet connection, owns a computer, or who believes the social Web represents the best not the worst of the human spirit.
The social web is an opportunity to create not just “conversation,” but movements. We need a movement now more than ever. We have the platform and the power to use technology for a higher purpose and a greater good. Our tweets, posts, stories, and lessons can give hope to the hopeless and voice to those silenced by these crimes.
No matter how you have been touched or impacted by bullying, you can make a valuable contribution to changing environments and cultures that are conducive to bullying and promoting the right behaviors for all digital citizens.
Please consider joining the movement or starting your own by:
- Writing a blog post (If you podcast, please record a podcast. If you video, release a video)
- Sending a tweet using the Hashtag #stopcyberbullying
- Being an advocate for the effective use of technology and the web as there are many who advocate blocking everything
- Being a resource for your community (Here’s a GREAT list)
- Modeling your own digital citizenship – Describe your “Code of Conduct”
- Sharing your story
However you chose to help, DON’T BE SILENT! Martin Luther King, Jr. once said “In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.” We must talk to our children. If you don’t have the right words yet, read this amazing letter from a mom to her daughter.
Be inspired. Then go share your inspiration with someone else. When it comes to bullying, your inspiration and advice can mean, the life of a child.
So, who and how will you help today?
- Some see fighting chance for anti-bully laws (chron.com)
- Bully Induced Suicide, Bullicide (socyberty.com)
- Is your kid being cyber bullied? You can check, sort of. (timesunion.com)
- David Nichtern: 3 Levels of Tolerance and What They Mean for Bullying (huffingtonpost.com)
Photo Credit: Google Images by compasscayman.com
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