Time for a rethink

“My name is Trisha Prabhu, I’m 13 years old and a 8th grader at Scullen Middle School, Naperville, IL.” is the opening to the “About me” section on the Google Science Fair 2014 project Rethink: An Effective Way to Prevent Cyberbullying which has been accepted as one of this years finalists.

The proposed system looks remarkably simple as a concept and while “prevention” is possibly an aggressive objective – significant reduction of cyberbullying from her research looks like a raging certainty if the Rethink system is adopted by the main Social Media Networks.

As she says:

“According to American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry(cited in Bibliography/References), adolescents’ (12-18) brains function differently than adults when decision-making and problem solving

  • Based on the stage of their brain development, adolescents are more likely to act on impulse and are less likely to pause and think to consider the potential consequences of their actions before they act.
  • Given the tremendous brain activity occurring during the teenage years, it’s no wonder we find adolescents mystifying at this stage. Adolescents may have grown to the size of adults in body, but the interior infrastructure is far from complete.”

From her practical research she concludes that “Results proved that adolescents were 93.43% less willing to post mean/hurtful messages using a “Rethink” system”.

We are wholly in favour and hope that in time the major networks turn this this excellently researched concept in to an adopted application for their networks. Perhaps Google+ could be the first adopters!

Here’s a pdf of The summary of her project

Full details over at the Google Science Fair site

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