Teens live in a social media world that most grown-ups know almost nothing about.

Being connected to your friends all day is fun. Just don't take it too seriously.

The social life of a teen is as virtual as it is physical.

Teenagers have been glued to their phones for decades. Of course, a phone used to be for talking with friends for countless hours.


These days, talking's the least of what a phone is for.

It's all about the exciting forms of connection the Internet offers. "Social media," "social networking" — the key word is "social." And most teens are fanatically social.

Of course, there are horror stories.

With online bullying and other forms of predators, parents can easily be overwhelmed by their kids' online ambitions. Site age limits? Whatever. Kids fudge their ages and stories, and the peer pressure to join in or be left out is intense.

Parents wonder if kids understand the dangers.

Parents may know Facebook, and they might know about Twitter, Snapchat, and Instagram, but how it all folds together for a teen is something they can really only imagine. Parents are left with the choice of terrifying their child with how bad the world can be or just trying to remain as vigilant as possible.

Lots of parents end up just praying their kids have some common sense.

Dr. Gregory Dillon got together with some teens to talk about their strategies for dealing with the anxieties of online life.

"When you go digital, you're basically amplifying yourself way out. And so the question is how much can you handle." — Dr. Gregory Dillon

On the one hand, by interacting with a larger audience, you might get more approval than you're used to in the physical world. But, on the other hand, you also stand to be rejected on a much larger scale. And that can be awful.

They talked about four things.

FOMO: Fear of missing out

Misinterpretation

Communicating with texts removes all the visual and tone-of-voice clues, so it's something to be really wary about.

"Like" anxiety

Likes on Facebook and Instagram too easily become a measure of popularity. It's exciting when you get them and painful when you don't.

It's hard not to count your Likes.

Achieving a balance

Dillon's suggestion was to think of all online and offline activities as slices in a pie chart. Each has a place — and caring about Likes is fine — as long as it doesn't overwhelm everything else you care about.

The teens' thoughtful answers and self-awareness are encouraging. And there's barely a moment in which the kids smiles' aren't communicating how much fun their online lives are.

Maybe they're up to the challenge after all.

Listen in:

Family

On an old episode of "The Oprah Winfrey Show" in July 1992, Oprah put her audience through a social experiment that puts racism in a new light. Despite being nearly two decades old, it's as relevant today as ever.

She split the audience members into two groups based on their eye color. Those with brown eyes were given preferential treatment by getting to cut the line and given refreshments while they waited to be seated. Those with blue eyes were made to put on a green collar and wait in a crowd for two hours.

Staff were instructed to be extra polite to brown-eyed people and to discriminate against blue-eyed people. Her guest for that day's show was diversity expert Jane Elliott, who helped set up the experiment and played along, explaining that brown-eyed people were smarter than blue-eyed people.

Watch the video to see how this experiment plays out.

Oprah's Social Experiment on Her Audience www.youtube.com

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Cadbury has removed the words from its Dairy Milk chocolate bars in the U.K. to draw attention to a serious issue, senior loneliness.

On September 4, Cadbury released the limited-edition candy bars in supermarkets and for every one sold, the candy giant will donate 30p (37 cents) to Age UK, an organization dedicated to improving the quality of life for the elderly.

Cadbury was prompted to help the organization after it was revealed that 225,000 elderly people in the UK often go an entire week without speaking to another person.

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Well Being

Young people today are facing what seems to be greater exposure to complex issues like mental health, bullying, and youth violence. As a result, teachers are required to be well-versed in far more than school curriculum to ensure students are prepared to face the world inside and outside of the classroom. Acting as more than teachers, but also mentors, counselors, and cheerleaders, they must be equipped with practical and relevant resources to help their students navigate some of the more complicated social issues – though access to such tools isn't always guaranteed.

Take Dr. Jackie Sanderlin, for example, who's worked in the education system for over 25 years, and as a teacher for seven. Entering the profession, she didn't anticipate how much influence a student's home life could affect her classroom, including "students who lived in foster homes" and "lacked parental support."

Dr. Jackie Sanderlin, who's worked in the education system for over 25 years.

Valerie Anglemyer, a middle school teacher with more than 13 years of experience, says it can be difficult to create engaging course work that's applicable to the challenges students face. "I think that sometimes, teachers don't know where to begin. Teachers are always looking for ways to make learning in their classrooms more relevant."

So what resources do teachers turn to in an increasingly fractured world? "Joining a professional learning network that supports and challenges thinking is one of the most impactful things that a teacher can do to support their own learning," Anglemyer says.

Valerie Anglemyer, a middle school teacher with more than 13 years of experience.

A new program for teachers that offers this network along with other resources is the WE Teachers Program, an initiative developed by Walgreens in partnership with ME to WE and Mental Health America. WE Teachers provides tools and resources, at no cost to teachers, looking for guidance around the social issues related to poverty, youth violence, mental health, bullying, and diversity and inclusion. Through online modules and trainings as well as a digital community, these resources help them address the critical issues their students face.

Jessica Mauritzen, a high school Spanish teacher, credits a network of support for providing her with new opportunities to enrich the learning experience for her students. "This past year was a year of awakening for me and through support… I realized that I was able to teach in a way that built up our community, our school, and our students, and supported them to become young leaders," she says.

With the new WE Teachers program, teachers can learn to identify the tough issues affecting their students, secure the tools needed to address them in a supportive manner, and help students become more socially-conscious, compassionate, and engaged citizens.

It's a potentially life-saving experience for students, and in turn, "a great gift for teachers," says Dr. Sanderlin.

"I wish I had the WE Teachers program when I was a teacher because it provides the online training and resources teachers need to begin to grapple with these critical social issues that plague our students every day," she adds.

In addition to the WE Teachers curriculum, the program features a WE Teachers Award to honor educators who go above and beyond in their classrooms. At least 500 teachers will be recognized and each will receive a $500 Walgreens gift card, which is the average amount teachers spend out-of-pocket on supplies annually. Teachers can be nominated or apply themselves. To learn more about the awards and how to nominate an amazing teacher, or sign up for access to the teacher resources available through WE Teachers, visit walgreens.com/metowe.

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One of the major differences between women and men is that women are often judged based on their looks rather than their character or abilities.

"Men as well as women tend to establish the worth of individual women primarily by the way their body looks, research shows. We do not do this when we evaluate men," Naomi Ellemers Ph.D. wrote in Psychology Today.

Dr. Ellers believes that this tendency to judge a woman solely on her looks causes them to be seen as an object rather than a person.

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Culture