Over the last several years, social media has become a very important part of my life. I work in social media by day, and use it for blogging (and personal enjoyment) by night. And now that there are options to send instagram messages on computer, for example, for me, social media is not only a means of connecting with new and old friends, but it’s also a creative outlet, source of information and a source of inspiration. Generally speaking, it’s a positive space.
Even though social media plays a large role in my life today, I’m old enough that I can vividly remember what life was like without it. On the other hand, I can’t imagine what it would be like to go through elementary school in today’s highly-connected, digital world. Don’t get me wrong, I’ll be the first to admit that I’m addicted to my iPhone, but I’m an adult and know how to use the technology responsibly. I don’t think the same can be said about kids! Statistics show that 39% of Canadian students sleep with their cellphone, while one third never sit with a parent when they’re online. If you think all of these kids are behaving responsibly, you’re probably being naive.
Not surprisingly, incidents of bullying and cyberbullying are increasing every year. Of course, bullying amongst kids is nothing new and it was a problem when I was in elementary school. I’m lucky enough that I wasn’t bullied in school, but I was a little bit mean to this one girl during recess. We spent many of our recesses playing ‘tag,’ but I wasn’t exactly a star athlete. I quickly learned that there was only one girl in the class who was a slower runner than I was, so I used to have everyone gang up on her (instead of me) to make her ‘it.’ She was noticeably different than the other kids – she was a terrible athlete, so we picked on her! In fact, 70% of reported bullying occurs because someone looks or acts differently. Looking, acting, or speaking differently is the childhood equivalent to wearing a big “make fun of me” sign. It’s always been that way.
Nowadays, cyberbullying has brought forth a whole other dimension to this problem. Kids are connected to each other 24/7, so the teasing, mean comments and social humiliation can continue well into the evenings and weekends. There’s no escape from the mean behaviour and it’s much more difficult for teachers and parents to detect and stop the problem. According to broadband search.net cyber bullying stats this could end with kids developing some serious psychological and emotional issues, such as social anxiety, and depression. Luckily there are ways to find out the source of the problem for parents and put in place various measures to protect your children. This is also the case for different cybersecurity issues. Currently, over 50% of teens have had at least one negative social networking experience. Even more alarming is the fact that 33% of students who are bullied online report symptoms of depression. This is also an issue for adults. You may think then when you grow up you become better able to deal with bullying, especially if it is only online, but it can still have a surprisingly powerful effect on you. In fact, personal injury cases can be formed by those who have suffered psychological damage at the hands of others, online or in person, so contact a personal injury attorney if you’re struggling yourself, it could be the answer.
So…why am I talking about this? I’ve partnered with the Canadian Safe Schools Network (CSSN) to help make a difference. The CSSN is a national, not-for-profit charitable organization with a mandate to reduce youth violence and make our schools and communities safer, happier places for children to grow and thrive in. Last week, the CSSN launched the Stand Together campaign, as they believe that standing together against bullying is the best way to combat this issue.
As a way to get the word out about the campaign, the Canadian Safe Schools Network has partnered with YoSox. The goal is to #standtogether and get people working towards putting an end to bullying. For every pair of socks purchased, YoSox will donate a portion of their proceeds to the CSSN to help fund new anti-bullying programs for youth and to promote wellness. I should also mention that the socks are really fun and make quite the statement!
You can buy the socks directly from YoSox and soon, they’ll be sold at Hudson’s Bay. Buy the socks, support a great cause, and take a fun #FromWhereIStand photo wearing the socks…and use #StandTogether!
I also feel like I have to mention – this is not a sponsored post. I was gifted the socks, but I chose to participate and post about the campaign because I support the cause.