Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Star Tribune Highlights Journeys as Solution to Online Duplicity

Minnesota's Star Tribune reports that Social media allow adolescents and teens to be expressive, but a recent study by the Girl Scouts found that isn't always the case when girls go online. Surveying 1,000 teen girls who use social media, the organization found those with low self-esteem were more likely to project themselves through Facebook, Twitter or MySpace in ways that didn't match their personalities.

Of these girls, 22 percent portrayed themselves through social media as "sexy" and 35 percent presented themselves as "crazy." One in three said their online persona doesn't match who they really are. Trouble is, girls who try to boost their image in the virtual world suffer problems in the real world that they don't anticipate, said Sabrina Lee Sanchez, program implementation manager for Girls Scouts of the USA. Classmates might recognize exaggerations and use them as a source for teasing or bullying. Girls portraying themselves as sexually active or drinkers might be pressured into those activities. "They may get 'called' on these alternative identities or false impressions, potentially putting themselves in risky situations," Sanchez said.
The Girls Scouts has increased training for its troops on social media, and just last month announced a program, called "It's Your Story -- Tell It," to boost girls' self-esteem. The initiative challenges girls to express themselves through media projects or art. "We know from our research that girls increase their self-esteem by trying new things," Sanchez said.
The latest Girl Scout leadership journey It's Your Story-Tell It! has its' very own comprehensive website that allows you to get involved in a number of awesome activities! Girl Scouts of the USA and Dove®, the leading personal care brand, partner to deliver Girl Scout leadership and self-esteem programming to millions of girls nationwide and abroad with the latest Girl Scout leadership journey It's Your Story-Tell It!.