Self Harm and Social Media

I can feel the voices I hear shifting, even on twitter.  A few weeks ago I found a great person, @ERHSnicewords, on twitter.  HIs user name is "Against Bullying."  Following his tweets I was impressed by the number of positive and supportive messages he sends.    On his site he explains:

ERHS Nice Words started as a Twitter account on August 18, 2012. @ERHSnicewords. Created by me, Tyler McKeever, a student at East Ridge High School looking to impact kids of every age and every background in a positive way! This website and Twitter account are both Anti-Bullying based. They strive to eliminate all the hate and negativity around the country and world. My long term goal is to help as many people as possible change their ways, or stand up to the person of whom they were once afraid. We can reach this goal with enough effort and determination! Once again, Welcome to a place where you fit in. #TylersWarriors 

As far as I know I don't follow any other 16 year olds, but Tyler is doing amazing work and has developed quite a community.

self harm and social media, @learningsliving, @erhsnicewords, bullying

Tyler talks about stopping self harm, helping with depression and eating disorders.  His current initiative #TylersWarriors asks people to write #tylerswarriors on themselves instead of harming themselves.  They are warriors against isolation with Tyler.

Tyler is a powerful model for using Social Media for a social good.

Please note that some of the stories and almost all of the images shared in this project are challenging and deeply discomforting.  That is a good thing.  The stories being shared are discomforting.  I think that anyone working with students needs to have some idea of this often hidden narrative of self harm.  I like Tyler's transformation of self-harm pics into "team support" pics.

I follow @ERHSnicewords even though it means that twitter will remind me, everyday, that everyone carries secrets, pain, and fear.  Tyler is helping the people who find him and he is building a community of love in a world of need.  

If you know of someone who has found a way to use the power of social media for Good, leave some info in the comments.  Got a great idea?  DM @learnignsliving and we will set up a Guest post.