Empowered Youth Online

According to a study conducted by Pew Research Center, 92% of US teens go online daily. One of our goals at Think Before You Type (TBYT) is to empower each and every one of these young people to do something positive with this privilege. It’s so easy to stumble upon negativity online. Just take a look at certain social media sites or read the comments section on a news article. The things that people post and do online have a real world impact, and our goal is to make it a positive one.

One of the main reasons we’re so passionate about youth empowerment is that we realized the unique power that teens can have online through our personal experiences. We were inspired to co-found our non-profit, TBYT, when Lauren was 16 and Victoria was 14. The experience of starting the organization and creating an online presence opened our eyes to the great potential that youth have online. One of the biggest things we realized was that it didn’t matter how many social media followers we had. It was just important for us to focus on the idea of sharing kindness with just one person, and we learned how much of a ripple effect that could have. We were able to start where we were and felt empowered to continue on with making a difference.

As young people, it can be so easy to think that you do not have the power or the resources to make a change, but that simply isn’t true. Young people change the world every day, and the internet is a great place to start. There’s nothing wrong with using social media as a way to keep up with friends and celebrities. However, it can be used for so much more. Whether it’s leaving uplifting comments, sharing positive videos, getting involved with an existing organization, or starting your own, there are so many ways to use the internet to do good.

When we started TBYT, we weren’t sure of the impact we would have, and we certainly didn’t know how integral it would become to who we are today. However, what we did know was that we wanted to make a change, and we want other young people to know that they can do the same.

The internet has become such a large part of young people’s lives, so why not use it to do good? If you want to have a positive impact, now is the perfect time to start.

Written by

Lauren and Victoria Coaxum

Lauren and Victoria Coaxum are sisters and the co-founders of Think Before You Type, Inc., an anti-cyberbullying nonprofit organization that focuses on promoting positive self-esteem and using the internet for good.