Social Media has become a major player in the lives of many young people.
I am technically part of Generation Y/Millennium, since I was born in 2000. Unlike my parents, I grew up in a digital generation, so computers existed earlier than the time I was born. Even though I was born in a digital age, my parents tried to ration my
exposure to technology as much as possible. But today’s generation, born in 2001 and after, called Generation Z/Boomlets, were born attached to their screens. A common characteristic of this generation is that parents hand off their cell phones to their babies to keep them quiet, and it works. This includes my sisters, and I have definitely seen the difference.
Now this innovation isn’t all a bad thing. Technology makes our lives easier. It helps us find things that our parents would have had to spend hours in a library looking for. Technology is also a useful way adults can connect with youth.
But, there are things to fear from the internet. One of those is adults manipulating young people. And there are plenty of stories of this, one of which happened to a Girl Scout from my Service Unit. It was scary to hear, because usually when I hear these stories they’re so far removed from my life, and could never happen to anyone I know. But, when I hear about this one, I decided something needed to be done.
The first thing I did was talk to my Service Unit Manager about what I could do. The two of us came up with the idea that I could create a class to teach about the dangers of social media, and help girls figure out how to navigate it safely, since there’s not really a way to get them off of it.
I taught this pilot social media class at World Thinking Day, which is a Girl Scout event for all ages. The age group taking the class was 10-13, which is the age many kids are getting involved on social media nowadays. The girls in the class seemed receptive and said they learned a lot, so I am taking the class to another level, and beginning to teach it in other settings. I welcome any requests for the class PowerPoint and materials, or even if anyone wants me to come out and teach it. Fill out the form down below with any questions, requests, or anything else that may come up!