NFL Agrees: There are some issues for Teens with digital dating
The NFLPA and the FVPF have launched a national public service
advertising campaign designed to help teens recognize online dating
abuse and prevent it from happening with e-cards called “That’s Not
The campaign invites teens to create their own “Callout Cards” that
can be used to raise awareness of teen dating abuse and win cool
prizes, with the grand prize winner receiving a trip to Washington to
attend players’ gala later this year.
I’m going to be perfectly honest: I have no idea what this is about.
Things I see & assume:
1. Based on my tenure in moderation: Digital dating (or, more particularly – digital explicit sexually charged conversations) are on the rise, and kinda sketch – and for tweens/early teens in social gaming, these relationships are with people they meet online.
2. Based on what I’ve seen from teens in social networks & real life dating – they are not ashamed of explicit content nor do they hide their highly charged, uber-sexual social exploration (example: a 13 year old relative of mine posted lyrics to a song which suggested the sexual act. Her boyfriend of the moment commented on her status saying, “you mean you wanna f*ck”. Our whole family can see these comments, and neither seem to care).
3. Sports social gaming / etc sites, that I’ve visited, have had the most – THE MOST – aggressive audience, if we’re talking about tweens/teens. Why? They’re not getting the adrenaline payoff or euphora-burst they would get from a hard fought game, or from a big-win as a fan. Due to most of the sites treating sportsfans like adult-kids (stat tracking and not emphasizing the playground crazy love of sports & games), they are looking for social competition – and from there its all an equation, right?
Hormones of demographic + need for euphora + competitive drive + strength and determination + excitement + social environment + boredom + mixed gender avatars of cartoon-cuteness = forms of dating abuse? …Perhaps… It might be a leap, or it might make sense… up to you how you want to swallow that pill.
4. The current plight of mega-star athletes and their, ahem, discretions (and inability to stay faithful, perhaps? …Tiger, Shaq, Kobe, and the many, many football players who are outted in the press – wasn’t there a football player killed last year by his mistress?)
Whatever the NFL’s reasons for this campaign – I say thank you. I like to believe that every little bit helps, and if the NFL wants to help an image, I think this is a smart path.
Why? Technological education is NEEDED – but not just “math blaster” education, but a variety of support that reflect digital lives AND offline lives. This is an excellent example, just as Sweety High’s youtube videos about cyberbullying and netiquette.
Problems teens/tweens are experiencing online are now very much reflecting problems offline, and vice versa. Finding new ways to educate and empower youth to protect themselves, build a voice, find a mentor, become a mentor, protect others, better themselves, believe in the systems surrounding them, etc… the better off we will all be.
Long story short, I’m hoping for good things of this initiative, and I hope they don’t drop the ball (muhohahahaha, sorry, i love with a pun works well with a story). There’s something here, and it’d be nice to see the NFL support it for the long haul, and with a boisterous voice, yeah? None of this “PR” schtick and hide. Fingers crossed.
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