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Look Inside Young Adult Road Map

5 Guiding Star Point

5 Guiding Star Point five: Find Support online emotional support Online support groups can be sources of great comfort to people who feel isolated. The website suggests that one way to determine if a “chat board” or online group is right for you is by reading through a long thread of posts. Do members offer each other compassion and understanding? Do they seem knowledgeable? Do they quote sources? How do they handle disagreement? Is there a moderator? Are guidelines posted to let people know what kind of behavior is acceptable? “Examine the dates and frequency of posts and discussions to verify that the community is active. A strong online support community will contain updated news and information about your issue,” adds wikihow. Part Four: Think Critically About Social Media Protecting your online space is like locking your front door, except that it’s much harder to do, because new scams (illegal attempts to trick others into giving money) and other online threats appear so often. Good rules of thumb: l Don’t open attachments in emails from people you don’t know. Don’t open attachments in emails from people you do know if the email address or the message seems odd to you. The account may have been hacked. Opening the attachment will spread the virus/ worm (also called malware) to your account. l Be extremely cautious about giving out any personal details on social media sites. Never give out your full address. Check the security and privacy of your personal information on social media by checking the privacy settings for your account(s). l Don’t forward bullying content or messages. Report incidents to moderators, website administrators, and “safety centers” that exist on big sites such as YouTube or Facebook. l Use credit or debit cards on secure websites only. The “checkout” portion of these websites will typically show a well-known shopping cart (for example, PayPal or Shopify) or will mention a security measure called an “SSL certificate.” l Be aware that purchasing and/or sending some forms of pornography over the internet is illegal, particularly if the material involves underaged persons or illegal acts. You could go to jail and also damage your reputation. Explaining Social Media It may feel very frustrating if others (such as parents and older mentors) don’t understand the online social media, apps, or games you enjoy. They may not understand the relationships you form with people you meet online or what these activities mean to you. A good strategy is to lead with the facts. Try to explain how social media, games, and apps work (or get parents/mentors involved, if appropriate). Use your internet research skills to find persuasive articles or other evidence that support your point of view. Be as patient as possible. Use “I” statements, such as “I like this game because….” or “I feel good about myself when I use this app because….” However, stay open to the possibility that parents, mentors, or friends may have good instincts about a situation. People who care about you may see changes in your health or personality that you don’t notice yourself. Keep the conversation going. 60

Guiding Star Point One: Set GOAL Activity 5.1 Other things people who support me should know about my strengths: Young Adult Road Map, page xx Part Five: Consider Community A strong personal network includes natural supports. This term means friends, family, neighbors, or others in the community who provide help without being part of a paid service. Who helps you right now? Try making a list of people who touch your life right now. Try to list at least one thing you could count on each person to do if you needed it. A strong personal network can grow when no one person is asked to do too much. * See Activity 5.2, My Personal Network GuidinG StAr Point one: Set Goals My Personal Network Examining your strengths is like packing for a journey. Before you set out, it’s a good idea to check your pockets/purse/backpack or the trunk of your car for any items that might come in handy down the road. Amazing things can happen when your strengths are carefully examined. Page XX in your guide describes five different kinds of strengths. Being persistent is one kind of strength (called a quality). Having good medical insurance is another kind of strength (called an asset). Having a support group might be another kind of strength (called a resource.) Read more examples of the five kinds of strengths on page X of your Guide. Then write down a few words that describe each of your strengths, using the spaces below. Qualities abilities Also think about what you like to do. Consider broadening your personal network by trying to get involved in at least one new community that relates to one of your interests. Look for events that interest you. Explore a support group, youth council meeting, or drop-in center. Volunteer for one activity. Don’t rush it. Developing natural supports can take time for some people. However, keep in mind that donating time to help others can make you healthier and can make your personal network stronger. resources assets interests 61