Social media is linked to depression- or not. Fortnite is good for learning teamwork- or they promote violence. Young people are either more connected- or more isolated.
There are many conflicting messages on the effect of screen time on children’s well-being. Plenty of negative articles that fuels panic among parents. These articles tend to get a lot of attention.
This has resulted in heated debate among scientists. There are some studies showing a significant negative effect of tech on children while there are others revealing the positive side of screen time.
Whatever the research may show, the real threat does not lie in screen time itself. Rather the way children spend time online.
Here are kids who are inspiring people to use tech for good:
A student anonymously posts positive and kind words about his classmates on Instagram for a year.
View this post on Instagram
There’s a tad bit more than you thought there was, I apologize. There is one quote in particular from Maya Angelou that reads “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” I find this such an inspiring quote because over the past year I saw a change occur in our high school, a positive one, it seemed as though we were more united than we had been in the past. During the summer, I made the decision to go in and try to make everyone here feel appreciated and recognized for simply being the amazing people they are. It is easy for people to be cruel over social media, so I decided to make an anonymous account on Instagram that would counteract the negativity seen today by posting a picture of each student and a paragraph of what makes them GREAT and how other people should see that too. So after 657 posts, over 11 months, and finishing each person in the Class of 2014, Class of 2016, and of course our Class of 2015, I would like to prove Jose Gutierrez right and admit that I am “thebenevolentone3” Benevolence being defined as “characterized or expressing goodwill or kindly feelings.” In the end, I realized that we are ALL the benevolent ones in our way and actions of how we treat others, it has been a wonderful year. I’ll miss East Valley. And although I part without finishing all of the class of 2017, I wish that the next generations take over and find bolder ways to express positivity and encouragement in the East Valley Community. Keep on keeping on.
2. Sherman Oaks, 14-year-old tackles loneliness during school lunch
For many children in school, lunch is the best time of the day. They get to chat and enjoy uninterrupted time with their friends.
But for some kids who do not have a group of friends to sit with, this can be dreadful. Whether it’s being the new kid in school or just finding it hard to adjust and make friends, lunch hours can be spent sitting alone.
Having experienced loneliness during lunch hours, Natalie designed the app Sit With Us to make cafes more inclusive and help kids get over the fear rejection.
3. Robby Novak, 12, is a Youtube personality who makes millions laugh — even though he suffers from a rare disease.
Novak’s first viral video titled “A Pep Talk from Kid President to You” have been viewed more than 38 million times.
His infectious laughter and positive attitude in life is remarkable especially when knowing that he suffers from osteogenesis imperfecta, a rare, genetic disorder that causes brittle bones. Novak has had more than 70 broken bones and 13 surgeries in his short life, ABC News reports.
Despite his disease, he continously makes new videos and urges everyone to be tolerant and compassionate to each other.
4. Rethink, Trisha Prabhu, 14-years-old tackles cyberbullies
When Trisha was 14 years old she read a story about the suicide of a 12-year-old girl due to cyberbullying. Shocked and heartbroken she thought about how she can stop such events from happening. Trisha created a software Rethink that can detect and stop online hate at the source.
5. Twitter account for the voice of 3rd graders @TopDogKids
@topdogkids is Twitter account lead by 3rd grade students. The teacher monitors and post on behalf of her students.
— Kayla Dornfeld (@TopDogTeaching) November 30, 2018