Monday, January 12, 2009
Resource Review - That's Not Cool.com
That's Not Cool.com
OverallSeems like every time we turn around there's some new concern for our youth. As they spend more time on places like Facebook and MySpace plus time texting and sharing photos there are more pressures coming to bear on them. Cyberstalking, pressure to take and share nude photos, even controlling issues like someone texting or emailing them constantly are growing problems. Well the folks at the Ad Council, The Family Violence Prevention Fund and The Office On Violence Against Women have come together to create a really good AND really cool website.
What's It About Using video, cool graphics and common sense they create a very approachable way of talking about some potentially scary topics. I can see this being used from Middle school on up. Plus they have a section where youth can discuss the issues online, links to resources if trouble gets really serious, and even youth created videos on the subject.
In their words:
Your cell phone, IM, and social networks are all a digital extension of who you are. When someone you're with pressures you or disrespects you in those places, that's not cool.
Thatsnotcool.com is attempting to raise awareness about digital dating abuse and stop it before it gets worse. Sponsored and co-created by the Family Violence Prevention Fund, the Office on Violence Against Women and the Ad Council, the site is designed to address new and complicated problems between teens who are dating or hooking up—problems like constant and controlling texting, pressuring for nude pictures, and breaking into someone's e-mail or social networking page.
Reservations Actually not many. I'd love to have some resources for a more in-depth discussion after the kids have taken a look at this. I didn't see a lot of ways for the adults in these young people's live could hook in to help. I'd also be concerned that some of the callout cards might escalate a bad situation.
Recommendation It may be a real eye opener for adults to cruise through and see the kinds of things that some young people are doing out there on the digital frontier. It may seem harmless but it's not. A photo that was supposed to be for "someone special" very quickly can end up on the world wide web and things get ugly at that point.
I can give this resource a very strong recommendation. I'll have a link to it on the youth ministry website in the near future.