Community meeting encourages adults to help delete negativity on social media

Bullying isn’t just for kids. Social media outlets such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram have created an environment in which users can make abusive or insulting comments and start rumors from behind the safety of their computer, damaging another person’s reputation and self-esteem.

#icanhelp is a campaign that was founded locally, following a student’s creation of a false facebook page used for making fun of a teacher. Leadership students at Excelsior Middle School in Byron worked together to find a solution, and along with the help of their teachers, #icanhelp was born.  Now, the campaign has grown national roots as more people hear about the program and respond to the message.  The program relies upon the users to make the difference: “It doesn’t work if we tell people what not to do,” says co-founder Kim Karr.  “We each need to be the person who speaks out against negative comments when we see them posted. When you see an abusive post, reply with something positive. Share that you think those comments are not okay and not cool.”

The #icanhelp “positive warriors” at Excelsior Middle School, lead by co-founders Matt Soeth and Kim Karr, hosted a community meeting February 27th to help adults understand what is happening with social media.  The packed house was educated about anonymous social media sites and false pages in which users can hide behind an alias to avoid taking responsibility for their comments. They were also given solutions as to how each individual can make a difference, by choosing to post only positive messages and thoughts, by responding to negative posters with kindness, or by reporting them for abusive behavior.

Assemblyman Jim Frazier spoke at the event, sharing his own personal stories of bullying, and committing $2,000 to the #icanhelp campaign, funds the campaign needs for materials to help spread the message further.

If you would like to learn more about the #icanhelp Delete Negativity on Social Media campaign, or would like to contribute towards their positive crusade, check them out on Facebook or Twitter at #icanhelp.