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Adrian Flores
Adrian Flores

Teens Spreading WORK

Social media is a big part of many teens' lives. A 2018 Pew Research Center survey of nearly 750 13- to 17-year-olds found that 45% are online almost constantly and 97% use a social media platform, such as YouTube, Facebook, Instagram or Snapchat.

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Social media allows teens to create online identities, communicate with others and build social networks. These networks can provide teens with valuable support, especially helping those who experience exclusion or have disabilities or chronic illnesses.

Teens also use social media for entertainment and self-expression. And the platforms can expose teens to current events, allow them to interact across geographic barriers and teach them about a variety of subjects, including healthy behaviors. Social media that's humorous or distracting or provides a meaningful connection to peers and a wide social network might even help teens avoid depression.

However, social media use can also negatively affect teens, distracting them, disrupting their sleep, and exposing them to bullying, rumor spreading, unrealistic views of other people's lives and peer pressure.

The risks might be related to how much social media teens use. A 2019 study of more than 6,500 12- to 15-year-olds in the U.S. found that those who spent more than three hours a day using social media might be at heightened risk for mental health problems. Another 2019 study of more than 12,000 13- to 16-year-olds in England found that using social media more than three times a day predicted poor mental health and well-being in teens.

How teens use social media also might determine its impact. A 2015 study found that social comparison and feedback seeking by teens using social media and cellphones was linked with depressive symptoms. In addition, a small 2013 study found that older adolescents who used social media passively, such as by just viewing others' photos, reported declines in life satisfaction. Those who used social media to interact with others or post their own content didn't experience these declines.

Because of teens' impulsive natures, experts suggest that teens who post content on social media are at risk of sharing intimate photos or highly personal stories. This can result in teens being bullied, harassed or even blackmailed. Teens often create posts without considering these consequences or privacy concerns.

The vast majority of teens (90% in this case) believe online harassment is a problem that affects people their age, and 63% say this is a major problem. But majorities of young people think key groups, such as teachers, social media companies and politicians are failing at tackling this issue. By contrast, teens have a more positive assessment of the way parents are addressing cyberbullying.

Girls also are more likely than boys to report being the recipient of explicit images they did not ask for (29% vs. 20%). And being the target of these types of messages is an especially common experience for older girls: 35% of girls ages 15 to 17 say they have received unwanted explicit images, compared with about one-in-five boys in this age range and younger teens of both genders.2Online harassment does not necessarily begin and end with one specific behavior, and 40% of teens have experienced two or more of these actions. Girls are more likely than boys to have experienced several different forms of online bullying, however. Some 15% of teen girls have been the target of at least four of these online behaviors, compared with 6% of boys.

The likelihood of teens facing abusive behavior also varies by how often teens go online. Some 45% of teens say they are online almost constantly, and these constant users are more likely to face online harassment. Fully 67% of teens who are online almost constantly have been cyberbullied, compared with 53% of those who use the internet several times a day or less. These differences also extend to specific kinds of behaviors. For example, half of teens who are near-constant internet users say they have been called offensive names online, compared with about a third (36%) who use the internet less frequently.

Today, school officials, tech companies and lawmakers are looking for ways to combat cyberbullying. Some schools have implemented policies that punish students for harassing messages even when those exchanges occur off campus. Anti-bullying tools are being rolled out by social media companies, and several states have enacted laws prohibiting cyberbullying and other forms of electronic harassment. In light of these efforts, Pew Research Center asked young people to rate how key groups are responding to cyberbullying and found that teens generally are critical of the way this problem is being addressed.

Indeed, teens rate the anti-bullying efforts of five of the six groups measured in the survey more negatively than positively. Parents are the only group for which a majority of teens (59%) express a favorable view of their efforts.

You might have forgotten exactly how bad being the object of untrue, hurtful gossip can feel. Then your teenage son and daughter comes home in tears, disconsolate over something someone at school said about them. And it all comes back. The anger, the shock, the feeling of being wronged. The sense of powerlessness. The desire to get back at the person spreading the rumors.

Meta announced its anti-sextortion plans in November as part of a broader crackdown against "suspicious" adults messaging teens. The project is a follow-up to the StopNCII technology the company developed to fight revenge porn, and shares a similar implementation. This is the latest in a string of efforts to protect teens on Meta's social networks. The company already limits sensitive content for teen Instagram users and restricts ads targeting young audiences, for instance.

Taylor's son, Adam, was similarly targeted in a parking garagein Columbia, Mo., in June 2009. A group of teens randomly ambushedthe then-25-year-old, hitting him and kicking him as he lay on theground writhing in pain. They told police they wanted to find anunsuspecting person and knock them out with one punch as part of agame called "Knockout King."

There have been scattered reports of similar incidents acrossthe country, all which fit a similar pattern: The perpetrators areteens, the attack is random, and the motive is a game - typicallywith a similar sounding name.

Experts say it is hard to tell whether these are justcoincidences in the pool of random violence being perpetrated byteens. Law enforcement officials say they can only go off memoryand anecdotal reports because there are no crime statistics keptfor assaults in which the motive was a game.

A search of YouTube for "knockout game," "king hit" and "one hitknockout" calls up dozen of videos in which groups of laughingteens film themselves punching to the ground someone who appears tobe in on the joke. Included are videos in which the game isseemingly played on an unsuspecting victim.

St. Louis Circuit Attorney Jennifer Joyce said she could recallat least three instances here in recent years in which attacksstemmed from the game. In one, a skateboarding teen randomlyassaulted a woman walking in the Central West End. In another,teens attacked two individuals, one elderly, near CarondeletPark.

Taylor, of Columbia, said the five teens charged in her son'scase received sentences ranging from probation for the juveniles tofive to 12 years for the teenage adults. She believes the sentencessent a message to the residents of the area, where there have notsince been reports of similar attacks.

Last month, the Surgeon General released an advisory about misinformation and disinformation, including guidance for what individuals and communities can do to combat false information, amid concerns that the COVID-19 pandemic is being worsened by an accompanying "infodemic." COVID-19 and vaccine misinformation has also been spreading wildly on TikTok, with a recent analysis by the Institute for Strategic Dialogue finding some videos with COVID-19 misinformation had been viewed millions of times.

Hanukkah was jam packed with laughter and light for a full-week of activities, from lighting the community menorah at the Mandell JCC to collecting and wrapping gifts for the clients at Jewish Family Services. The highlight of the week was the Saturday night Hanukkah celebration JTConnect hosted in partnership with local youth groups with over 130 teens in attendance. It was an incredible night of celebration with a menorah lighting, havdallah, latke bar, laser tag and more! Check out photos below from the festival of light.

For example, Volland explains, someone intent on spreading misinformation could overlay audio of gunshots on an unrelated video and present it as a clip from a firefight in Ukraine. This is one reason why the platform has been singled out for making it particularly hard to distinguish between real and false information about the ongoing conflict there.

How often are teens exposed to misinformation on TikTok? Essentially all the time, 16-year-old Sofia Williams says. She and Agatha German, 17, are co-directors of Teens for Press Freedom, an organization that promotes news literacy among youth.

Precious and Yemurayi are just two of the many HIV-positive teenagers who were born with the virus and who are now, as adolescents, exploring their own sexuality and unfortunately spreading the virus in the process.

Although only a few of the teens had experience with video editing, they created highly professional and compelling videos that Magical Bridge is now using on its website and for fundraising. Their video introducing the Magical Bridge Foundation has already helped bring in key funding for expansion to new cities this fall.

You can make donations of clean, gently-used clothing or new clothing for children from infants to teens age 18. We are especially in need of clothing for school age children. You may drop off your donations or we can arrange for pickup if necessary. Spreading Threads Clothing Bank is in need of the following for boys and girls of all ages: 041b061a72


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