Many of the main messages we want to deliver to our youth—like respect and responsibility—remain consistent over the years. But, the platforms where those messages matter most change rapidly. That’s just the nature of social media.
When we first started our work, we heard from youth that a huge issue was unhealthy interactions on instant messenger chat services, like AOL Instant Messenger. Instant messenger platforms are now no longer as popular. We’re instead talking with youth a lot about how to be respectful with our photos on Facebook and Instagram, a popular photo-sharing site, during a break-up. Our high schoolers, who serve as peer leaders in our program, play a crucial role in helping us stay current on the latest technology and developing activities that address the issues unique to each platform.