Empowered Flower Girl encourages a shade-free summer

New campaign aimed at eliminating cyberbullying and relational aggression

No Shade Just SmilesWhether you call it “drama,” “beef,” or “throwing shade,” online conflict via social media is impacting the way young people communicate and relate to one another. Tension in and out of the classroom is being fueled by Facebook fallouts and Yik Yak attacks.

Empowered Flower Girl (EFG) advises youth and parents alike to monitor online interactions and behavior.

Results from a recent Wayne State University study found that 54 percent of youth were involved in online abuse.

This summer, Empowered Flower Girl is encouraging kindness and working to thwart meanness with its “No Shade. Just Smiles.” campaign.

“Parents and teens play a vital role in eliminating cyberbullying,” said Rasheda Kamaria, EFG chief empowering officer and founder. “If you’re experiencing conflict with someone, avoid sending mean text messages and posting shade-filled status updates. Have a conversation with that person if possible or if the situation is serious, seek help from a mediator.”

When there is a threat of violence or if a crime has been committed, call 9-1-1.

Seeking solutions to cyberbullying, drama, relational aggression or other social/communication challenges among teens in your school or community? Empowered Flower Girl offers engaging workshops, programs and content that tackle these issues.

For more information, visit http://www.empoweredflowergirl.com. Join the conversation with #NoShadeJustSmiles. “We want teens to break the internet with positivity,” Kamaria said.

Teens: Keep it classy online

Empowered Flower Girl helps parents navigate social media with Social Secrets workshop
Empowered Flower Girl helps parents navigate social media with Social Secrets workshop

I often wonder do teens truly understand the impact of their social interactions. In particular, how their online activities and interactions affect their chances of getting into college, hired for internships and scholarships.

With today’s competitive job market, teens should be conscious of their digital footprint. We’re not trying to thwart freedom of expression and opinion, but we encourage young people to think before they tweet.

Some corporations and even college admissions staff are turning to social networking to evaluate and recruit employees and students.

From posting expletive-filled rants and inappropriate photos to retweeting explicit lyrics from popular songs, we’ve seen it all.

As parents, aunts, uncles, mentors and educators we must have conversations with our school-aged relatives and students about how they’re using social media.

We encourage youth to use social media for good and as a learning tool. But we also have an obligation to help them become responsible, conscious social citizens.