Parenting concerns about the role of social media in the lives of teens are real. We are all too familiar with the dark side of 0n-line problems –cyberbullying, stalking, invasion of privacy, child predators, etc.
But are there any positive sides to teens and social media use? World Vision is one organization that will tell you YES!
Harris Interactive conducted an on-line survey for World Vision, the International Christian Relief organization. A total of 535 young people between the ages of 13 and 17 participated. The results of that survey found that 55% of those teens felt social media sites like Facebook and Twitter brought more awareness to the needs of others. Another finding was that teens felt that local volunteering was important (91%).
So if you want to encourage your teen to use social media in a positive way, you might want to point him or her to this Facebook Page.
One of the ways World Vision involves teens via social media is its 30 Hour Famine Event held February 24-25. If you missed it this time around, you can also participate on April 27-28. On those dates, teens agree to go without food for 30 hours, drinking only water and juice, and engage in community service projects in their local communities. The idea is to give the teens a small taste of what it feels like to go without food, to experience what children all over the world experience who go hungry. Prior to the beginning of the 30 hour fast, teens raise money for World Vision by talking about the impact a dollar a day can do to feed the hungry. Last year’s event raised 9.5 million. This year’s goal is ten million.
What a great use of the technology–creating more compassionate teens who care about others and will do something to meet their needs.