Monday, 8 June 2015

How One Teen Took a Stand Against Bullying (and Ended Up Going Viral) with a Post-It Note

How One Teen Took a Stand Against Bullying (and Ended Up Going Viral) with a Post-It Note

Caitlin Haacke was selected to give a talk at TEDxTeen, a conference where young men and women spoke about their simple ideas that made a big impact. After her talk, Teen Vogue caught up with Caitlin, creator of Positive Post-It Day, to learn about how she used acts of kindness to combat bullying. Click to watch her talk above, then read her tips for spreading positivity below. As told to Courtney Lindstrand.

My TED talk was all about my journey towards making positivity "stick" in my community and around the world. I started out talking about my childhood and how the evolution of bullying really began. When I was a kid, bullying was really no more than simple playground words or a few slurs in the hallway, but then it unfortunately grew into the nasty cyberbullying that students deal with everyday.

I decided I wanted to take a stand against negativity and spread kindness by writing positive message on Post-It notes and putting them up around my school. I called the initiative Positive Post-It Day[1], and it was just the result of finding a simple way to combat bullying. It proved that even in this crazy, bustling world, with all of the devices and technology we have, something as simple as a piece of paper really can change the world. Here are my simple steps for creating and spreading your own positive messages:

Step 1: Start Small
There's lots of initiatives out there. I found that it's really just about getting active in your community. For example, at Christmas, I got some boxes of chocolate and my family and I would drop them off to my neighbors on the street that we live on. It's really about thinking about something kind that, while simple, really can change somebody's world. There's always something out there that you can do, and no matter how small or how big, it can really make a difference.

Step 2: Get Creative
I originally got the idea to write postitive messages on Post-It notes from Pinterest. I was browsing the site looking for something kind and creative to do and I saw a story about two girls who had done something similar in the United States. I decided that I wanted to bring it home and try it in my own school. (My personal favorite Post-It? "You're a sprinkled cupcake in a world full of muffins.") Little did I know, it would end up going viral in four days and these messages would spread much farther than I ever imagined.

Step 3: Go Global
Positive Post-It Day is an excellent example of how teens can use social media in a positive way, rather than a way to spread cyberbullying. Although the original concept was to use physical pieces of paper, the bulk of it really happened on social media and spread on social media. It began with a few posts on Facebook spread further to YouTube videos and tweets. Positive Post-It Day doesn't have to be created on a paper Post-It that you hand to someone, it's all about kind, positive messages. Write on someone's wall, type up a message, or send them a Snapchat. It's just about finding your own way that you can spread kindness in your community and change people's lives.

Related:
7 Inspiring Lessons We Learned from the Most Influential Young Women of 2015
Here's Exactly What to Do When Someone Dismisses You Because of Your Age
How I Fit Three Years' Worth of Trash into One Mason Jar
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Source : http://www.teenvogue.com/my-life/2015-06/caitlin-haacke-positive-post-it-day-ted-talk
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