Perhaps you have heard the hot term “emotional intelligence” floating around before, but have you truly stopped to consider what that means- and if you have it?
What is it that makes a good friend?
Particularly in middle and high school, friends seem to wade in and out of our lives. Often you gravitate toward people with common interests, or perhaps someone who is in two or three of your classes- or maybe on your field hockey team- and you become friends situationally, bonding over a certain project or event. Some friends you can just laugh and have a good time hanging out with; others, you can trust with your deepest secrets.
For some people, finding friends is as easy as getting dressed in the morning. For others, making (and keeping) friends can be a tremendous source of anxiety. Whether you are a person who thrives in social situations or someone who winces every time you have to “find a partner” in science class, we all have a responsibility to get to know each other, even those who you might think you have nothing in common with.
Why get to know each other? What’s the big deal?
Constructing an on-line identity is powerful tool, both socially and- eventually- professionally. It’s hard to imagine when you open your first facebook or instagram account and post that amazing selfie (the light was perfect) that you are starting a life-long trail of personal images, thoughts and even emojis that will follow you into your 40’s and beyond. The internet is such a commonplace, every day tool for social interaction and research that it’s sometimes hard to fathom that it can also be used against you! Whether you plan to apply to college, a part time job, or to be the future President of the United States or Late Night talk show host, it’s critical to be aware of the persona you are putting out into the word via the web. You will see yourself again someday- frozen in time as a 15 year old. You’re pretty great, but you might not want your 1-D obsession following you to law school.
Many high schools across the country are dealing with bullying and fall-outs from the new app, Burnbook. While anything in the latest app-form seems cutting edge, the idea of the “Burn” or “Slam” book has been around for as long as composition note books and pencils (note: even before the movie Mean Girls, 80’s YA novels dealt a heavy-handed lesson when it came to anonymous bullying.) Burnbook, however- an app that lets users target and attack specific people with name-calling, public shaming, and even violent threats- is slightly different in today’s ever-shrinking, all-too-public world, thanks to the viral capacity of social networking. What was once “name-calling” on the playground has evolved into a tweet or comment that can reach thousands of followers in just minutes, and the results can be long-lasting, deeply damaging, and even deadly.