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Wanted: Good Screen Writer for Teen Reality Shows about Drug Abuse on Social Media

It’s a simple question: Do you think there is a Teen Drug Problem via Social Media? Yes or No? Can we do anything about it? Why not harness the teen’s greatest watched medium to more than to entertain but also to interact and educate?

If you say “Yes” perhaps we need to try harder as a society to find a solution for more and more teenagers at risk. We do not need more research to know that social media sites are only growing in popularity and number connecting to more drug abuse. There is nothing normative about teenagers underestimating the risks of smoking, drinking, and the use of certain drugs when their brain’s rational deductive reasoning does not develop until their early twenties.

Currently there doesn't seem to be much on the agenda to reduce the risk. Of course, parents are concerned but there seems to be only a few things by which to mitigate these risks. Some possible ways are:

… Limit time online by monitoring internet use

… Practice open communication about dangers of drug and alcohol abuse

… Pay attention to behavioral changes and address problems early

What teens really need is to go beyond what adults tell them and become actively involved as peer spokespeople and practice scenarios where they can learn to say no. They need to relate to stories of interpersonal skills with normal social interaction over long term.

What more inclusive way, other than first person participation, to watch and relate to a TV reality show about teens, their struggles and redemptions on their favorite mediums?

Teens love watching videos as streamed on smartphones, tablets and laptops. The average tween, ages 8 to 12 for the purposes of this survey, spent four hours and 44 minutes with entertainment media on digital devices each day. For teens, it was seven hours and 22 minutes. That did not include the time using devices for homework, reading books or listening to music.

Just imagine what a platform like this can do to show a reality sitcom that tells a responsible story about the negatives of social media and positive interactions with a star character and his friends, family, school and community. Each new story can focus on a specific social media antagonist and a proactive strategy all played within a social framework to learn and share with others. Imagine teen viewers as fans that begin to interact with compliments and complaints as they readily discuss each episode.

Suddenly, there are new affirmations, texting and talking about how to win against this social media assault against our young people heard around the country.

For example, one show can deal with the many drug depictions on Social Media as the main character (male or female) sets the challenge to make a list of times he sees drugs being used online … movies, music videos, games, etc. His friends discuss the findings with reference to their feelings about what images attract, what repels and best ways they can say “No” if in similar situations. Perhaps, a mystery element can be added by an unknown online druggie who texts them as a warning to beware. Who is it? Why?

There are so many situations for live actors to portray that substance abuse of any kind is not considered acceptable and is particular dangerous by highlighting strong anti-drug social norms and beliefs. Over and over they must be heard, even vicariously.

This topic is more thoroughly described in the article:

How to Script Teen Reality Series about Drugs with Social Media Antagonists…Action

Wanted: Good Screen Writer for Teen Reality Shows about Drug Abuse on Social Media

Pass this message on to someone you may know.

As a final word, Dr. Michael Rich, an associate professor of pediatrics at Harvard Medical School, explains the dire situation this way, “The technology isn’t the problem, we’re the problem. It’s the interactivity that draws some kids in … We are watching four manifestations of what are problematic interactive media use, including gaming (mostly boys), and social media (mostly girls). And then there is pornography, “which is touching kids younger and more profoundly than anyone imagines and finally there is “information bingeing,” with kids “disappearing down a rabbit warren of hot links.”

Let’s try and turn this tide around. Questions and comments are always welcome.

Annemarie Berukoff

Index for Timely Tale for Teen Girls Struggles, Regrets and Survival on Social Media with a Superpower Tool

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Retired teacher — wisdom of Timely Tools for Changes: self-franchise internet marketing, social media attacks, ecology

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