There used to be places for people to gather. Places of worship and community centers, and local businesses would be a hub of activity. Then came social programs. Now we have cuts. The churches have lost their power and connect to the emerging generation. We see that in the statistics from the census bureau. Not many people go there anymore. Internships were paying gigs at one time. Even students in Montreal saw cuts in university spending and in increases in tuition.
Such places gave young people a safe place, where they could express themselves and identify and develop their character as youth. They need a transition place into adulthood.
These days’ young people don’t have a place to communicate. They go to the internet and are on Facebook, where social media becomes their means of communication. And this could lead to cyber bullying and other problems.
What we need are solutions. Cutting programs doesn’t help. Cutting meaningful programs is cost effective but it’s only a short term solution.
Online bullying leads to the isolation of the victim. This person then feels they can’t seek help. For example, Audrie Pott committed suicide after classmates shared her assaulted photos online. Yet, another suicide.
It is now a common sight to see a young person in the media who was bullied on social media and used such a platform to vent their frustrations against it.
There should be a link on Facebook, or twitter, where young people can get help from professionals. This link can be established to give a communication network between young people on social media and professionals that can help them.
As a young person, I saw the kids who had a place to meet, develop leadership, it helped them to communicate. They did fundraising, worked with seniors, and raised money for charity. More programs are needed. Social media should provide links to learn of and to teach these methods. They should also provide responsible links that reveal the dangers that lurk online. Young people need such a link to connect themselves to a safe place.
Written By: Paul Collins author of Mack Dunstan’s Inferno / Mystery of Everyman’s Way
Contact him on http://www.facebook.com/#!/authorpaulcollins