Students spend a tremendous amount of time online. According to a study conducted by Common Sense Media, teens spend an average of nine hours a day online. Tweens, children between the ages of 8 and 12 spend an average of six hours a day online. That in mind, Common Sense Media found that Black youth spend more time on all types of media as compared to other student populations. Black youth average around 11 hours and 10 minutes on media per day and while all teens are equally as likely to use social media, Black teens spend far more time doing so.
In an age where social media allows for youth to engage the gamut of internet content and form electronic communities, it is imperative that we are intentional about creating spaces where youth can post, repost, and celebrate positive school experiences that facilitate the development of positive identity formation, positive social narrative, and positive online community. This is increasingly important given that according to Desmond Patton, a Columbia University Professor and Social Scientist, “…media outlets have reported on a relatively new national phenomenon of Internet behavior in which individuals that are associated with gangs or neighborhood factions use social media sites such as Twitter, Facebook and YouTube to incite dares, trade insults or make threats of violence which may result in homicide or victimization. We term this interaction internet banging.” With recent increases in online bullying and internet banging, the prospects of cultivating positive and promotive online spaces become invaluable.
The solution…Black Boys Shine is a campaign to illuminate the character and contributions of Black boys and men nationally and internationally via the creation and dispersing of positive, uplifting, and affirming online content. With a positive media presence on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, and YouTube, Black Boys Shine is strategically position to partner with schools and/or districts in order to create student lead online spaces that foster developmentally appropriate and productive outcomes for students.
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