On the heels of police warning about an online scan soliciting nearly-nude photos from children, one youth group says children must be careful of their social media presence.
Cayman’s Youth Assembly says what is being shared and viewed online can be psychologically damaging to children.
The influence of the media and celebrities are impacting youth in Cayman and vice president of the Youth Assembly, Theola Williams says it’s a trend her team is looking at.
“The various artists that us as youth look up to, they promote drug use in their songs, so you see them cocaine, you see the weed, you see everything, so they feel it’s okay to do it because their idols do it ,” said Ms. Williams.
President of the Youth Assembly, Brianna Bodden says with access to the internet easily available, young people are susceptible to all kinds of influences as anything can be found on social media in the hit of a button.
“The media is like instantaneous, it reaches millions worldwide, that’s the first thing we see to be honest, as teens, we own our phones, you see this little device right here, this gets us connection everyone in the world, everything, every life, every broadcast, in like a matter of seconds,” said Ms. Bodden.
Member Carter Houston says peers are seeing social media accounts with high followings some in the millions from posting drug use to lewd images and local youths are toying with the idea of getting in on the action.
“These rich people who have all these followers and they are well known all around the world, they’re thinking oh if they are doing drugs, that’s how I’m going to be successful,” said Carter Houston.
Ms. Bodden says she’s concerned with young people’s views on relationships, especially how sending indecent photographs is acceptable behavior.
“It’s kind of died down now in Cayman because I don’t really see much of that happening right now, but it has truly happened and I wouldn’t like to see a relapse of that ,” said Ms. Bodden.
Just last week, Dec 17th, the R.C.I.P.S released a warning about WhatsApp messages soliciting photos from minors in minimal, clothing and encourages parents to be aware of who their children are speaking to on mobile devices
The Youth Assembly said it will be targeting these issues in schools and at their upcoming Youth Forum, scheduled for April.