SM for Social Good: NJ Major Uses Twitter to Send Help to Snowbound Residents In His Town

As an example of the good which Social Media (SM) can accomplish, I highlight the ingenuity of Cory Booker, major of Newark, NJ.

In the wake of the extreme snow event which blanketed the Northeast in white on Sunday, Cory is using his Twitter site as a public communications forum. Those snowed in who need help, are tweeting direct messages to Cory. Cory and his team are dispatching assistance in real-time, as it’s needed. And, it’s still happening now!

You can check the results of Cory’s acts of civic responsibility – as well as other acts of kindness – at Yahoo’s How Good Grows SM site. You can even participate in Yahoo’s site. Here’s how:

  • Sign on with your Yahoo! ID.
  • Post your act of kindness.
  • Share it with the world, as a way to inspire others to their own acts of kindness.

You can check out Cory Booker’s Act of Kindness at the Yahoo! site, here.

You can read more about what has been reported on Cory Booker, online. Check out this Time story - in which Cory is described as a “superhero with a shovel.”

Cyberbullying: More Prevalent Than You May Think

In 2008, the University of Toronto conducted a survey of school children in grades 6, 7, 10 and 11, to study the prevalence of cyber bullying. In the survey, they asked children if they had either been the victim of bullying or participated in bullying, while using the Internet.

The results are startling, and include these findings:

  • In the past three months, 21% of students report having been bullied online – sometimes more than once.
  • In the past three months, 35% of students have bullied other kids online – sometimes more than once.
  • In the past three months, 28% of students watched someone being bullied online.

The raw numbers are even more revealing: in a surveyed population of about 2100 students who participated in the survey, the students reported over 9000 individual incidents of bullying within a three month period – indicents in which they were the direct victim, the bully, or a witness.

What’s of interest to me, as well, is how parents of these same students viewed Internet bullying. Fully 96% reported that they actively discussed Internet safety with their children. 84% reported feeling that their child follows their rules concerning the Internet. 66% felt that they could protect their child from what is on the Internet.

Yet, 21% of students were bullied – and 35% have initiated the bullying.

How was bullying defined in the survey? Students were asked to respond in these categories:

  • Was called names/made to feel bad
  • Had rumors spread about them
  • Had someone pretend to be them online
  • Was threatened
  • Was sent unwelcome sexual words/photos
  • Was asked to do something sexual
  • Had someone send their private pictures to others

Something is out of whack here. I would suggest, that parents likely feel a lot more in control and aware of what their child is experiencing online than the reality of what their child is actually experiencing.

What You Can Do: Be More Web Aware

A helpful resource site which includes saftey tips by age for children, is at the web site bewebaware. If you need a refresher on guidelines to establish with your child, check it out. Safety tips include:

  • Keep your computer in a public place in the home
  • Establish a social media contract with your child – and discuss it
  • Ask about your child’s online experiences often – including incidents of bullying
  • Remember that instant messaging is the number one online media through which children experience bullying – followed by email, gaming sites, and social networking
  • All types of kids can participate in bullying in the cyber world – not just the stereotypical kids who perpetrate it in the physical world

Where is Santa Online? He’s Everywhere!

Hey kids, Santa isn’t just at your local mall these days – you can find him online, too! Here are some fun places to look:

Follow along as NORAD tracks Santa’s Christmas Eve flight!

Chat with Santa – ask him if he thinks you’ve been naughty or nice!

It’s not too late to write to Santa this year – send him an email!

Check the weather at the North Pole!

Find out if YOU are on Santa’s naughty or nice list!

Even the big kids will like these links:

Set up an online gift exchange with your circle of friends – a Secret Santa site! You can also see which gifts are trending, and more!

See what Santa is tweeting about!

He’s on Facebook, too, so watch out! Try searching for Santa Clause, Kris Kringle, Elfster, and more!

Parents, you might want to try these:

A nifty site for creating personalized communications with Santa, for your child.

The “official” Kris Kringle site with Christmas online games and craft suggestions, and more!

The original cookie swap site!

– Ho Ho Ho for now, SS