As the sleet and freezing rain beat against my window this morning, I leisurely read the newspaper and watched The Today Show. As much as I hate making up snow days, I do enjoy these quiet mornings when I don't have to race out the door. It's no secret that I'm not a morning person!
The Today Show featured a segment on a new web site, geared toward eighth and ninth graders, called That's Not Cool. This site uses video and other interactive media to teach teens how to deal with digital harassment, whether through texting, instant messaging, social network sites, or email.
The site includes the following description:
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.
Although students may find the videos a little corny, the messages are timely and give teens some strategies for dealing with new pressures from living digital lives.