What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this ad-free site helps teens recognize when digital dating behavior becomes dangerous or abusive (stalking, violating privacy, pressure to send nude pictures) and how to deal with it. That's Not Cool's content is right on target, but there are a few iffy comments that link to users' YouTube profiles, where anything goes.
What kids can learn
- identifying emotions
- conveying messages effectively
Responsibility & Ethics
- making wise decisions
- respect for others
Engagement, Approach, Support
Videos are creative and well-produced, and the site engages teens by presenting information in several different interactive formats (videos, games, Q&As).
Teens can learn how to cope with real-life situations by practicing good decision-making in virtual dating dilemmas. They can also share video content and post comments.
The site is easy to navigate, and a robust "Need Help?" section provides additional resources for teens in crisis.
What's it about?
A project of the Family Violence Prevention Fund, the Office on Violence Against Women, and the Ad Council, THAT'S NOT COOL aims to educate teenagers about digital dating abuse. The site features videos that deal with issues like excessive texting and pressure to send risqué photos, and there are lots of "callout cards" to email or post to social networking sites ("Thank you for your thoughtful text every 10 seconds"). Teens who have a YouTube account can post responses about common dating dilemmas, and Need Help? includes guidelines for determining when relationships cross the line.
Is it any good?
With digital violations on the rise -- from nude photos leaked to blogs to a murder sparked by a "single" Facebook status -- That's Not Cool is a much-needed resource for teens and for parents who could use a little help understanding this very 21st-century issue. The videos are cool, clever, and interactive; teens see a scenario from the perspective of both partners and choose the best way to deal with the situation. The guidelines for recognizing abuse are right on target, and the additional resources included are reliable.
Explore, discuss, enjoy
Families can talk about what is and isn't appropriate with online and mobile communication. What does having constant access to another person mean?
What do your kids think is the line between caring and controlling? Parents can encourage teens to come talk to them or another trusted adult if they're ever in a dating situation that feels uncomfortable or abusive.