Question about digital outreach

Via social media, people are sharing more and more online. The aggregation of their various profiles (facebook, myspace, friendfeed, etc.) can create a near mirror reflection of their real world actions and feelings.

We have the power to empathize better then ever, to understand people in a new light. How can we use that to preempt mental downswings, specifically in kids?

Thinking here: You can’t just watch over and swoop in every time you see something negative. What is the balance? Should we have social workers trolling profiles for “signs.” Will we just develop the sense to tell if someone is having a hard time. I’m talking about preventing tragic events – every time they happen it seems it was all over the students profile. right. So what can we do?

Thanks to Skyler for getting me thinking about this again. And to Danah and Bambi for chatting a while back.  Outreach20.org is a site I made a while back about this.

4 thoughts on “Question about digital outreach”

  1. That is an interesting thought – wouldn’t monitoring through social networking be problematic because as you say, our online experience mirrors our experience in the real world. After many tragedies everyone says they never saw the signs. Do you think they might be more visible online than in the real world?

  2. That is an interesting thought – wouldn't monitoring through social networking be problematic because as you say, our online experience mirrors our experience in the real world. After many tragedies everyone says they never saw the signs. Do you think they might be more visible online than in the real world?

  3. It’s an interesting question. Much of the information is publicly available, so there’s nothing to stop parents, friends, teachers, social workers, from digging in (and taking action). However, I wonder what the ultimate effect would be on making this information public — would the people in question stop being so open. Only time will tell, I suspect.

    For what it’s worth, I happen to live in the community where the three students who did all the church burnings in 2006 came from. One facet of the case was the fact that their MySpace pages painted a very different picture of who they were (inside?) than their public persona. It was eye-opening.

    Todd

  4. It's an interesting question. Much of the information is publicly available, so there's nothing to stop parents, friends, teachers, social workers, from digging in (and taking action). However, I wonder what the ultimate effect would be on making this information public — would the people in question stop being so open. Only time will tell, I suspect.

    For what it's worth, I happen to live in the community where the three students who did all the church burnings in 2006 came from. One facet of the case was the fact that their MySpace pages painted a very different picture of who they were (inside?) than their public persona. It was eye-opening.

    Todd

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