The power of online positivity
The digital world creates new challenges and opportunities for social interaction, for kids and all the rest of us. Social cues can be harder to read online, constant connecting can bring both comfort and anxiety, and anonymity can fuel crushes and compliments as well as harm to self and others.
It’s complicated, but we know that the Internet can amplify kindness as well as negativity. Learning to express kindness and empathy – and how to respond to negativity and harassment – is essential for building healthy relationships and reducing feelings of isolation that sometimes lead to bullying, depression, academic struggles, and other problems.
Research shows that rather than simply telling kids not to be negative online, effective bullying prevention addresses the underlying causes of negative behaviors. These activities encourage students to interact positively from the start and teach them how to deal with negativity when it arises.
Define what being positive means and looks like online and offline.
Lead with positivity in online communications.
Identify situations in which a trusted adult should be consulted.