Friday, November 15, 2013

10 social networks your kids don’t want you to know about!

 Kids are hooked on social media and are always looking for the next big thing It’s not always easy to find out about them and sometimes not easy to know if they are safe or not.

So, where are your kids hanging out today?  Here are ten social networks that you probably haven't heard of, but that your kids are using and some of the pitfalls.

1. Snapchat
Snapchat, widely nicknamed "the sexting app," lets you take photos or record video and share them with friends. The gimmick is that images "self-destruct" seconds after they've been viewed.
Teens think Snapchat is a risk-free way to share revealing or illegal photos with friends, but the recipient can save messages by taking a screenshot.  Hackers and scammers have gotten very good at stealing private images off of people's private computers and smartphones.
2. Kik
This messaging app is rated 17+ in app stores, but it's become popular with tweens and teens. Because users are known only by their Kik usernames, it's supposed to offer a private way to chat.
Like Snapchat, however, Kik is associated with sexting. And because it's easy to stay anonymous on Kik, it's become a favorite weapon for cyberbullies.
3. Tumblr
Tumblr is a blogging site that lets users share text, photo, video, quotes and audio posts. The site has earned a reputation as an online hangout for creative types. It’s no surprise it’s the blogging platform of choice for teens.
Tumblr is chock-full of content that's inappropriate for kids. Tumblr does not restrict content and many sites are filled with sexual content, offensive language and violence. Tumblr blogs are public so anyone can read your kids’ blog posts.
4. Creepy
The name of this app says it all. It lets people pull geolocation data from photos to pinpoint exactly where each picture was taken. A creep could easily find out where your child lives, goes to school or hangs out from their shared photos.
5. Pheed
Pheed is billed as a creative hangout where you can express yourself with text, photos, videos, audio tracks and voice-notes. You can create live audio and video broadcasts.
Pheed's live-streaming features raise serious privacy concerns. You never know who is watching. Hackers and online predators are out there, so make sure you talk your children about what's appropriate to share and what isn't. 
6. Vine
Vine is a free "micro-video" app that lets you create short, six-second video clips and then share them on social networking sites.
Making and sharing videos with Vine is fun and most videos posted on the service are harmless. But there's still a lot of adult content - images depicting nudity, drugs and violence - floating around the service.
7. Ask.Fm
This social media site is huge with teens in Europe and it's starting to gain popularity here too. You pose questions, or answer questions made by other users. The anonymous and unmoderated site has no privacy controls. Your child could be sharing personal information with bad people. The site has been linked to cyberbullying and bullying-related teen suicide.
8. Oovoo
Oovoo is a free video chat service that works a lot like Skype and Apple's Facetime. It blocks kids 13 and under from registering, but it's easy for kids to lie about their age and set up an account. Like all video chats, there's a real danger that kids can connect online with people they don't know. 
 9. Path
Path is a newer social network that lets you share text, photos and video with up to 150 friends. It's similar to Facebook, except instead of status updates you share "moments."  Path has a location-tracking neighborhood feature, so make sure it's turned off if your kids are on the site.
10. WhatsApp
Teens love this messenger app. WhatsApp lets you send unlimited texts, videos, photos and short audio messages. Teens can chat with friends without running up the phone bill

Sunday, November 3, 2013 is a project to promote positive values through YouTube videos. Their latest hit video has a powerful anti-bullying message:

Please check it out!

America's ANTI Bully

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Remember The Headline?

                                            Have The Talk With Your Children!

Not about the birds and the bees but about being online –safely!

We've come a long way since the 60s' parenting scare tactic-
 "It's 10:00 pm. Do you know where your children are?"

The reality is that you're probably very trusting of your children if they have their own computer, have the ability to post videos on YouTube,  photos of the party they attended Saturday night on Facebook or surfing almost any internet site.

While the Internet has its substantial benefits of being educational and entertaining as well as a source for any inquiry, there are also a lot of troublesome situations your children could encounter online.

Firstly, remind your children that anything they put up on the Internet is public and could have serious consequences in the near and far future, potentially costing them their dream job or an athletic sponsorship.  Future employers do google you.

More and more employers are using social media profiles as part of their decision process when hiring (sites like Facebook, Myspace, Linkedin)." These sites are definitely an easy gateway for online predators to communicate with children under a pseudonym and fabricated profile.
A serious and real online concern is cyber bullying. Children have the opportunity to anonymously embarrass or threaten a classmate on the Internet. If you find out that your child is a victim of a cyber bully,  keep a record of everything that was said, because it could be helpful when the child feels comfortable enough to speak to an adult about it.

Parents should also ensure that they "don't overreact if their children have a negative experience online (research has shown that youth often don't report being the victims of cyber bullying because they're afraid their parents will cut off their Internet access)," says Matthew Johnson, (Media Awareness Network).

This is an electronically tethered society and like it or not, it is here to stay.  We just need to be vigilant, cautious and educated about the dangers it poses.

When Children Cry

I wanted to share with you this amazing video by CJ Holland, a talented singer who was bullied as a child and found inspiration in this song to create a musically driven anti bullying campaign. Please check out the video and share it!
Keep up the great work CJ!

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

The Full Impact Of Bullying

     A ground-breaking Warwick University study has been published on the impact of childhood bullying in later life.It is the first of its kind to examine the social and economic effects of childhood bullying, and track the problems facing the victims as adults.

And it shows that serious illness, struggling to hold down a regular job and poor social relationships are just some of the adverse outcomes in adulthood faced by those exposed to bullying in childhood.

The new study analysed 1,420 participants four to six times between the ages of 9 and 16 years and adult outcomes between 24-26 years of age. They were victims, bullies and ‘bully-victims’, those who fell into both categories.

And the results published in Psychological Science showed there was no real difference in the likelihood of being married or having children.
However, all groups showed signs of having difficulty forming social relationships, particularly when it came to maintaining long-term friendships or good ties with parents in adulthood, and were more than twice as likely to have difficulty in keeping a job, or commit to saving, and as such displayed a higher propensity for being impoverished in young adulthood.

Very few ill effects of being the bully were found.
Professor Dieter Wolke, of the University of Warwick, and Dr William Copeland, of Duke University Medical Center, led the research and found the ‘bully-victims’ presented the most significant health risk for adulthood, being more than six times more likely to be diagnosed with a serious illness, smoke regularly or develop a psychiatric disorder.
Professor Wolke said: “We cannot continue to dismiss bullying as a harmless, almost inevitable, part of growing up.

“We need to change this mindset and acknowledge this as a serious problem for both the individual and the country as a whole; the effects are long-lasting and significant.”
Emma-Jane Cross, chief executive officer and founder of the bullying prevention group BeatBullying, said: “BeatBullying has been raising awareness of the devastating impact of bullying on young people’s lives for over ten years. But as this research reveals, bullying not only robs young people of their childhood, but can also severely damage a person’s future potential leaving them at greater risk of becoming impoverished.
“This research should be a wakeup call for us all. We need action now from Government, schools, families and communities.”

Cyberbully Tips

Cyberbullying - Learn what you're up against

Each cyberbullying tactic involves a technological tool (a cell phone, a laptop, a video camera, or a social networking site for example). Learn how to understand, prevent, combat and transform a:

Digital Pile On: (A group that gangs up on one person through a group chat, comments and Instant Messaging)

Rating Website: (Using Internet polls to get bystanders to vote for their "ugliest," "fattest," "dumbest" peers);

Imposter Profile: (Creating a fake website or social networking profile to deceive people into thinking it is genuinely owned and maintained by the target);

Haters' Club: (Spreading mob mentality on websites or social networking sites to harass or persecute one person);

Sexting: (Taking or sending an explicit photo of oneself and forwarding it to friends or potential boyfriends/girlfriends);

Videojacking: (Videotaping a target without his knowledge/approval and uploading the video to a popular video-sharing websites.)

Saturday, July 13, 2013

The Luke Story

I often get emails from people that have been targeted by bullies.  I wanted to share the story of a courageous young man.

I know you are probably wondering who I am and why I am writing to you. My name is Luke Nelson and I am a 24 year old from Southwest MN living in a small town named Balaton. I am writing to you to share a miracle story in hopes of changing many people’s lives.

While I was in my mother’s womb I had a blot clot in my brain that was cutting off the blood flow to my cerebellum. When I was born there was 1/3 of my cerebellum missing due to the clot and the chance of survival was minimal. Miraculously, I lived through birth but the doctors still had doubt on their minds. I was told that I would never live a normal life. I wouldn’t be able to walk without bumping into things, ride a bike, attend a normal school and so on. Overcoming the doctor’s expectations, I surpassed their doubts and many more. The only result from the clot is that I bob my head, which was the start to the teasing and bullying.

All my life I have been laughed at because I bob my head. I remember being at a cross-country meets and other runners would point and laugh because I was bobbing my head when I was running. The one that hurt the most was in Mexico on a Missions trip and a little girl was laughing and bobbing her head along with me. I know she was young and didn’t know any better but something about being in another country having a little girl point and laugh got to me.

I hear and see about kids and even adults getting bullied and it hurts me. Not only does it hurt me but I know the pain they are going through. Not that long ago in a town close to mine, two girls committed suicide because of bullying. This not only hurt me but the whole town. These two girls had there whole lives to live but decided to end it because a couple of kids where bullying them.
Through my life of being bullied and seeing a lot of other victims, it has made me realize my purpose in life. That is to help everyone I can that is going through the same thing as I did because I know how it feels and know it is impossible to get through it alone. Once I shared this story to a women whose son was going through the same things I went through. The impact of the story gave her so much hope for her son and that is my dream, to give hope to thousands.

If you or you know of anyone that could help get this out I would be so grateful! It hurts me so much to see and hear of kids and adults getting bullied because I know the hurt and pain that it can cause. I just want everyone to know there is a hope and they are not alone. If you would contact me to let me know that this was received that would be great. My e-mail is

Thank for your time and God Bless,
Luke Nelson

Luke, you inspire me!  Tell everyone you meet your story so together we make a difference in the world.  Our mission - ANTI Bullying.

Your friend,

Mike Bogdanski

Sunday, March 10, 2013

The Called Him Pork Chop

Canadian poet Shane Koyczan, best known for his spoken word performance at the opening ceremony of the 2010 Vancouver Olympics, has scored a viral hit with his anti-bullying video, Pork Chop.
An animated, poetic take on bullying and how it affects the lives of children and adults, the seven and a half minute video posted on February 19 has already received more 1.1 million hits and thousands of comments. It is part of the anti-bullying campaigner’s To This Day Project.

America's ANTI Bully