How to “Mess” Up Your Summer in 5 Steps (2020 edition)

With so much drama and chaos happening in our world from the fallout of COVID-19 to civil unrest, I had to revisit a topic I blogged about a few years ago. And now with EVERYONE and their mama online … literally (your grandma and great grandma are trying to figure out Zoom) social media engagement is at an all-time high. 

And that means more opportunities to engage with people – some of whom you may want to avoid. 

In 2017, I published “How to Eff Up Your Summer in 5 Steps.” Pardon my crassness but I had to be direct given the climate at the time. 

The blog was mostly aimed at young people from middle schoolers to college students. But let’s face it, many adults are involved in online drama. 

Fast forward to June 2020, we’re witnessing many states open back up just as summer starts to sizzle. Here’s our chance to make summer great again. 

But countless media reports have already shown: people are messing it up before it truly begins. 

From posting inappropriate, offensive and down right mean comments to participating in ridiculous online challenges for likes, there are some surefire ways to have an effed up summer break. Don’t be that kid or grown up.

So are you ready? Here is the 2020 list:

5. Get in a Twitter fight with a celebrity … or a president. We all love to voice our opinions about celebrities who do wild and obnoxious things, have bad hair days or overuse photoshop. But resist getting into a battle with celebrities, politicians or anyone who has a fanbase as dedicated as Beyonce. They sting. And they will come for you, boo. 

4. Put your friends or family on blast via social media – any platform. Sure, best friends can disappoint us and sometimes our siblings can do jerky things. But, there is a better way to bring this to their attention. Instead of posting a shady status update, pick up the phone, send an email or schedule a Zoom meeting. Just kidding on the Zoom meeting. But you really should talk it out. 

3. Post incriminating pics or videos on Instagram or TikTok. This is one of the best ways to kiss your summer internship, college acceptance or job security good-bye. Even if everyone else is doing it, DO NOT post pics of drug use, private parts or illegal activity.

2. Make racist or homophobic posts and comments. This one should be obvious but in the wake of what’s happened in the U.S. over the past month, apparently it isn’t. People are losing their jobs and livelihoods. Think before you post, seriously. I always say, “what’s in my head doesn’t have to be said.” Making racist and homopobic comments is rude (first of all) and also mean. If you want to stay employed either change your thinking or don’t post your thoughts. 

1. Do something productive. Of course this doesn’t follow the format of the other tips because you actually SHOULD engage in activities that inspire you and those around you. Kindness is the key to a kick-butt summer. Volunteer or advocate for a worthy cause, get a summer job or learn a new skill. Staying occupied will keep you out of trouble and give you a confidence boost.

So in conclusion, don’t be a jerk online, stay off the Internet when you’re in a crappy mood and overall, think before you Tweet or Snap or whatever you do. 

Hope your summer is fiya. 

How to combat cyberbullying while #athometogether

We’re all coping with the life changes that COVID-19 has sparked. Many adults are working remotely and children are home learning via virtual classrooms. 

While students are not engaging in-person, they’ll be engaging online – via social media apps and texting. 

Empowered Flower Girl, a social enterprise on a mission to transform the way young people relate to one another and themselves, encourages youth and parents alike to monitor online interactions and behavior. Cyberbullying is still a concern for many children. 

Here are tips to prevent online drama and encourage quality family time:

TECH-FREE FAMILY NIGHT: Ditch the cell phones, laptops and tablets for dinner and conversation. For some teens, talking face-to-face may seem old-fashioned but it’s a great way for families to connect. It also reduces the temptation to go online.

ASK QUESTIONS: Take an active role by inquiring about your child’s relationships with peers on and off line. Most children won’t volunteer the information. Parents should ask specific, preferably open-ended questions to get their children to open up.

Empowered Flower Girl is celebrating 10 years of service in 2020. Founded in 2010, EFG works with schools, community organizations and families to combat bullying, cyberbullying, relational aggression and other social challenges facing youth. Learn more at www.empoweredflowergirl.com. Follow via Facebook/Instagram at @empoweredflowergirl