Betsy Hughes and Kenzie McKallor, both 15, are living proof that social media isn’t all bad, after all.

For starters, the now-best-friends connected on Instagram before they became friends in person at South Valley Junior High School in Gilbert, Arizona. They constantly leave kind, uplifting comments on their friends’ posts. Their social media pages are filled with bright colors, positivity and gratitude.

For Betsy and Kenzie, positivity on social media is their solution to the growing problem of online negativity and bullying. When they were in eighth grade, the two teamed up to launch the campaign “Posting the Positive,” which encourages people to focus on kindness and positivity both online and in person.

‘Digital citizenship’

In 2016, toward the end of seventh grade for Betsy and Kenzie, the friends started to notice an ever-growing amount of negativity and harsh words on social media among their peers. After discussing the issue, they wanted to take action.

“When people feel bad about themselves, they’ll kind of bring others down,” Betsy said. “To see friends’ posts and other people comment negative things on that really hurt our hearts and we really wanted to do something about it.”

Katie Hughes, Betsy’s mother and a major supporter of the “Posting the Positive” campaign, said the girls were bothered by online bullying and things like “rates,” social media posts in which a user gives their friends a public rating between one and 10 based on looks.

“These girls were just kind of feeling that they could do more to promote positive things rather than these negative things that were kind of starting to overshadow a lot of what was going on on social media,” Katie Hughes said.

In response to these experiences, and after talking to their principal, Tim Cannon, Betsy and Kenzie spent the summer creating the “Posting the Positive” campaign. When school started in the fall, they presented everything they came up with to Cannon.

Cannon was eager to support their campaign. The school had recently received a chromebook for each student, and Cannon liked the idea of students learning to use social media more wisely and positively.

“It was really important to me that kids learn appropriate use and digital citizenship,” Cannon said. “I said, ‘This will fit right in.'”

Conveniently, the superintendent was on a back-to-school tour with the mayor and members of the school board, and South Valley Junior High School was their first stop. Cannon gave Betsy and Kenzie …read more

Source:: Deseret News – Utah News


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Teens’ campaign to ‘post the positive’ coming to Utah this summer

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