It’s no secret that the online realm enables billions to publicly share their thoughts exchange information and knowledge. It has publicized our desires and personal lives in a way like never before and its public impact can be seen magnified amongst teens. During this adolescent time in people’s lives, it is important to explore different forms of self-expression and social interaction. The internet provides teens with a number of tools to encourage individual expression and social connection.
Adolescents have a power they never really possessed before with the power of social media. They have the power to reach an audience and be heard despite their age and resources.
Programs, such as the Algerian Youth Leadership Program of UNR’s
Northern Nevada International Centre and Open Youth Networks of Columbia College’s Dept. of Interactive Arts and Media, have been created to teach social and modern media tools to young students encouraging them to make a difference in their community.
There is an effort to bring awareness to young adults of the power social media holds and how they can use it to be heard and make a difference in their community.
“What we want to emphasize with these students is that the permission-based model has shifted,” said Todd Felts, University of Nevada Reno Professor. “Whereas traditionally you would need to go through newspapers or other outlets to discuss or create news, it’s now much easier to do that on your own, especially with the use of social media.”
Social media provides much more than just a fun way to chat with your friends. It holds immense opportunities when exercised in the correct way. Teaching the youth how to utilize these techniques encourages innovation and leadership. It encourages them to take the lead, create something meaningful and share it with the world.
Social media is forever changing and progressing making it important to introduce our youth to this fast paced, interactive and creative environment.The online world welcomes ideas from all individuals no matter what age or demographic you are. So get involved, tell the world what you believe and show it what you can create.3 February 2012