AUBURN, Ala. — The influence social media has on adolescents has become a prominent subject in recent years. This group of adolescents is not only developmentally vulnerable, but today’s youth make up the largest user base on social networking sites.
According to a report by Common Sense Media, 75 percent of teenagers in America currently have profiles on social networks. Sixty-eight percent use Facebook as their main social networking tool.
Social Media Can Make Positive Impact
Joy Scott, an Alabama 4-H youth development, citizenship and leadership specialist, knows that social media usually gets a bad rap when it involves today’s youth, but she believes it actually makes a positive impact.
“Today’s youth are not afraid of social media” Scott said. “They use it as a safe haven.”
Scott works with young people in the 4-H program. She views social media as a way for them to learn from one another.
She also reminds 4-H’ers that what they post on their own social media accounts will reflect the 4-H program.
“I always tell the kids to be careful about what they put on social media because it can affect their future,” Scott said.
Later this fall, 4-H state ambassadors representing youth in Alabama 4-H will be recognized individually each month through ambassador spotlights. These spotlights will appear on the Alabama’s 4-H Facebook page with a photo and a quote from the ambassador.
“We hope the spotlight posts will motivate younger kids in the program to be a future 4-H ambassador,” Scott added.
4-H Largest Youth Development Organization in Alabama
Alabama 4-H is the largest youth development organization in Alabama, with more than 184, 000 members ages nine through 18. There are more than 10,500 screened and trained volunteer leaders. These volunteer leaders work with 4-H Foundation regional agents in the Alabama Cooperative Extension System to deliver educational programs.
4-H focuses on belonging, independence, generosity and mastery in many different educational programs. A few examples include photography, healthy lifestyles and technology. The 4 H’s stand for: Head, Heart, Hands and Health. These are the four core values agents and volunteers work to instill in members through fun and engaging programs.
The 4-H mission is to serve all youth. Alabama 4-H is an innovative, responsive leader in developing young people to become productive citizens.
For more information on the Alabama 4-H program or information on becoming a volunteer leader, visit www.Alabama4H.com and search for 4-H in your county.