Newspaper article Evansville Courier & Press (2007-Current)

Technology Requires Increased Care during Youth Communication ; YOUTH RESOURCES

Newspaper article Evansville Courier & Press (2007-Current)

Technology Requires Increased Care during Youth Communication ; YOUTH RESOURCES

Article excerpt

Technology has forever changed the way youth workers interact with the population they serve. Within the past decade, the primary and preferred form Puzzler of communication Crossword for form Puzzler of communication Crossword for teenagers has become text messaging. While there are benefits to texting, including the ease of sending mass messages to groups, the value and importance of faceto-face communication is being "virtually" forgotten and also introduces the risks of actual or perceived texting misconduct.

To protect both youths and adult volunteers, Youth Resources has recently revised its Youth Protection Policy. The new digital privacy rules state: "A key ingredient for a safe and healthy Youth Resources' experience is the respect for privacy. Advances in technology are enabling new forms of social interaction that extend beyond the appropriate use of cameras or recording devices. Sending sexually explicit photographs or videos electronically ('sexting') by cellphones is a form of texting being practiced primarily by young adults and children as young as middle-school age. Sexting is neither safe, nor private, nor an approved form of communication and can lead to severe legal consequences for the sender, the receiver, and Youth Resources. If an adult or youth fails to report or abide by this policy, you will be removed from Youth Resources programming."

This month, Walt Mueller, founder and president of the Center for Parent/Youth Understanding, wrote a blog entry concerning this topic. He provided some excellent suggestions for ways in which those who work with youths can better manage technology.

Mueller says, "Even though text-messaging is the preferred method of communication for students, it isn't the best method of communication for anybody. Face-to-face communication is always the best and I fear that we're losing the ability to do that effectively. That doesn't mean that I'm saying you should stop texting. I don't think that at all. There's a time, a place and use for texting. …

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