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Tuesday, May 21, 2024

A Double-Edged Sword: How Diverse Communities of Young People Think About the Multifaceted Relationship Between Social Media and Mental Health

Social media's influence on young people's mental health is a concern for caregivers, educators, and leaders everywhere.

This is the  the third report in a series that has been tracking the role of social media in how young people age 14–22 support their mental health and well-being. The report reinforces that many young people turn to social media for emotional support, connection to friends and family, community building, and for fun.

Tuesday, April 30, 2024

Confronting Bullying in the Cyber Age

Digital communication is a vital part of teens' and tweens’ lives, but it can also make them vulnerable to harassment in virtual spaces — which can carry over into physical spaces and affect school communities in ways that can be hard to predict. In the latest episode of Education Now, experts discuss the latest insights and strategies from researchers working to create positive learning environments and empower educators, parents, and — maybe most important — students themselves to detect and deter bullying in real life and online. 

Read more and watch an interview

Monday, April 29, 2024

Free Lessons to Support Students’ Digital Well-Being

 Image of two adolescents smiling with one of them holding a turquoise-colored writing utensil.

Free Lessons to Support Students’ Digital Well-Being
Growing up has always had its challenges. But for kids today, technology and social media have a way of amplifying the stresses they face. Besides just telling them to put away their phones and screens, what can we do to help our students? 

Common Sense's free digital well-being lessons are an accessible way to support students' mental health and well-being. Each lesson approaches the dilemmas and pitfalls that kids face from a practical, relatable point of view, covering topics like:
  • Learning when (and how) to pause and put down our devices while interacting with people.
  • Tuning in to what, when, and how much we're using media and tech, and reflecting on how this makes us feel.
  • Questioning the design tricks that media and tech companies use to keep us hooked on our screens.
  • And understanding the impacts that our media choices have on ourselves, our communities, and the world.
We've got lessons for every grade, K–12, and our middle and high school lessons were co-developed with the Center for Digital Thriving at Harvard Graduate School of Education. Check out our free lessons today!

Digital Well-Being Lessons for Grades K–12 | Common Sense Education

Thursday, March 14, 2024

Teens and AI: Virtual Girlfriend and Virtual Boyfriend Bots

Teens and AI: Virtual Girlfriend and Virtual Boyfriend Bots - Cyberbullying Research Center 

A school counselor who works in a private school in California recently emailed me to ask for help as it relates to students and the misuse of specific AI bots. Her concerns, though, did not surround general purpose AI bots like Snapchat’s My AI or Microsoft’s CoPilot, but rather those that are specifically used as virtual girlfriends and virtual boyfriends. I thought it would be instructive for other youth-serving professionals (and parents and guardians) to make sure they were up to speed on the positives and negatives of these in-app “software agents” or “artificial conversational entities.” So, let’s dive right in!

Read more:

Sunday, January 21, 2024

Body Electric: NPR

Body Electric: NPR 

Our bodies are adapting and changing to meet the demands of the Information Age. So many of us feel physically drained after a day spent attached to our devices. But why? And what can we do to end this vicious cycle of type, tap, collapse?

Body Electric is a 6-part investigation and interactive project with TED Radio Hour host, Manoush Zomorodi. She’ll take you on a journey from head to toe to understand the impact of your tech on your body … and how to live better with your devices.

Saturday, January 20, 2024

Cyberbullying: Identification, Prevention, and Response fact sheet for 2024

Cyberbullying: Identification, Prevention, and Response fact sheet for 2024 with the latest research findings and emerging best practices. It's a free 9-page PDF download - use it to get caught up and learn what to do.

Friday, January 19, 2024

Dec 2023 issue of the International Journal of Bullying Prevention

The Dec 2023 issue of the International Journal of Bullying Prevention is out w/ important new research on whether youth can exercise self-control online, using VR to explore how anger & empathy prompt peer-defending, bias-based bullying, & more!

International Journal of Bullying Prevention | Volume 5, Issue 4

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