Are you going to be part of the problem, or part of the solution? This is a question we ask in every PROJECT ROCKIT workshop in schools across Australia. When we see bullying happen, we all have an impact to make, and this question challenges young people to consider what that impact is going to be. We know that when we witness someone being harsh to someone else, we have so much power to make a difference, and there are many low-risk ways to be part of the solution.
At PROJECT ROCKIT, we have learned so much through working with over 300,000 young people over the last 13 years, and we are passionate about sharing credible, realistic strategies with students across Australia. Our team of presenters are young people themselves, and visit schools in metropolitan and regional areas to empower students to create an online world where kindness and respect thrive over bullying, hate and prejudice.
While the majority of our approach is to be a youth-driven organisation running workshops in schools, we also host forums for parents and family members to discuss strategies, promote insight and understanding of different technology and social media platforms, and to demonstrate that we all have a lot in common when it comes to what we are concerned about in the online world, and also what we see as the benefits. These aren’t sessions on ‘how to parent’, but instead an opportunity to amplify the voices of young people from workshops around Australia, and also to share resources (including this very website!). Similarly, my aim in writing this blog isn’t to guide your parenting, but to share these strategies so that you too can support the young people in your lives to enjoy the great aspects of the online world and minimise the more negative sides.
So, how can we encourage positive and healthy use of these platforms?
How can we support young people who are being cyberbullied?
Despite what some cynics make believe, the vast majority of young people don’t agree with bullying, but many don’t know what to do when they see it happening. If we are able to empower each and every young person to take action when they see online hate, we can work together to create a safer online world for everyone. We believe every young person should be able to enjoy the good things about technology and social media without fear of experiencing discrimination or bullying, but it takes a group effort to create change. We are advocating for a world in which young people feel empowered to consider their impact, online and offline, and to choose to be part of the solution - we hope you’ll join us!
For more tips and conversations on these topics, check out our episodes of PROJECT ROCKIT TV on YouTube.