This Project Gets Teens to 'Rethink' Cyberbullying
Cyberbullying is an ever-growing problem. With anonymous apps like Whisper or Yik Yak, it seems like there's always a new way to hurt others online. But all hope isn't lost! A 13-year-old girl named Trisha Prabhu created the "Rethink" project as a way to combat cyberbullying. This idea has already earned the Chicago teen a spot as a finalist in Google's 15 Global Science Fair this September.
Trisha is passionate about preventing her peers from experiencing cyberbullying. That's why her project encourages teens to think twice about what they're posting, according to Reuters. On Google's Science Fair website, she explains her hypothesis.
If adolescents (ages 12-18) were provided an alert mechanism that suggested them to rethink their decision if they expressed willingness to post a mean/hurtful message on social media, the number of mean/hurtful messages that adolescents will be willing to post would be lesser than adolescents that are not provided with such an alert mechanism.
According to Reuters, Trisha proved that 93.4 percent of teens didn't post hurtful comments when they were asked to re-read their words before posting. This may be because the pre-frontal cortex, or area of the brain that controls reasoning, isn't developed until age 25, so the extra time helps them consider the situation more carefully.
To prove how big of a problem cyberbullying actually is, Trisha shares these stats in her project summary: 50% of adolescents and teens have been bullied online and 10 to 20% experience it regularly. With this inspiring project, hopefully those numbers will continue decreasing.