Social media is a quick and easy way to share news and thoughts with your inner circle. But for some people, the technology fulfills an insatiable need to be connected 24 hours a day. The dangers and disturbing lack of manners online can have a major emotional impact on anyone, including the younger generation.
It's something that is virtually inescapable. The world is connected through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Vine -- you name it. It's everywhere -- and it's catching the interest of younger generations more and more each day.
“She is completely connected all of the time,” said Channa Eckert, of her 10-year-old daughter Emma.
“I use social media on my phone, on my tablet, on my computer,” said Emma Eckert.
Emma's Eckert says she primarily uses YouTube for Vlogging. Emma's mom Channa imposes strict rules and monitors her daughter's online activity daily; and says she communicates the realities and dangers that come along with using the internet.
“It makes me feel incredibly vulnerable because I don't know what's out there and I fear what I don't know more than anything,” said Channa Eckert.
“I wouldn't really want someone to find out where I live or who my family is so I wouldn't use any of my personal information for YouTube,” said Emma Eckert.
In recent weeks Emma and her Girl Scout troop came up with an idea.
“We thought maybe we should have a program to where we could figure out how to stay safe on the internet,” said Emma.
The wheels started turning and the idea blossomed into a social media etiquette seminar and workshop.
“I wouldn't really want someone to find out where I live or who my family is so I wouldn't use that for a YouTube, or a Facebook down the road or twitter down the road or anything else to where someone could find my personal information from,” said Emma.
It's being held Saturday February first at the Hilton in College Station. Many parents are already on board.
"We want to model good decision-making because we cannot put enough stop-gaps to stop the evil in this world,” said Carolyn Allen.
Girl Scouts of Central Texas PR Team and Hotels.tv Houston will co-host the first-of-its-kind program this Saturday. The workshop will be presented by the ladies of Kappa Gamma Chapter of Alpha Gamma Delta. Presenter, program-creator, and Texas A&M University at Corpus Christi college student, Marlena Trumbo said she was very excited when the Girls Scouts of Central Texas PR Team was interested in the philanthropy of the Kappa Gamma Chapter of Alpha Gamma Delta.
"So far, 26 of my sisters have shown interest in doing this," Trumbo said. "I'm working on all the details of what we'll be doing. And, I have a great feeling about this event!
"Social Media is still so new and no one is teaching proper etiquette, or how to use it well. Kids are just figuring it our themselves." says local Girl Scout PR Team lead volunteer, Ginny Ford. And having older college girls work with our Girl Scouts has always worked really well. The girls love to learn from you amazing young ladies."
Carolyn Allen says she and her daughter Emma will be attending the seminar and are both excited to learn more about staying safe online.
“You can empower each individual with the decision making tools and that is the foundation of my parenting and my education,” said Allen.
Date: Saturday, February 1, 2014
Time: 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Location: The Hilton Conference Center, College Station, Texas
Cost: Canned food for Brazos Valley Food Bank
Age Level: all levels with Safety Wise Adults required (that means the girls are accompanied by the appropriate number of registered adults)
Register: Send your name and number of girls to firstname.lastname@example.org