Tedx Talk speaker to address Pulaski parents on dangers of social media

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Collin Kartchner, seen here in his Salt Lake City Tedx Talk, will be speaking in the Pulaski County High School auditorium at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday.

This Tuesday, parents have the opportunity to learn about how social media plays an impactful - sometimes negative - part in the lives of their growing children and teenagers. Plus, they will get to hear that message from someone who has not only toured the country speaking but earned his own TEDx Talk.

Collin Kartchner, billed as a youth advocate, will speak in the Pulaski County High School auditorium at 6:30 p.m. The event is free and open to the public.

It is sponsored by the Fellowship of Christian Athletes through donations made by the community.

Besides Tuesday's public talk, Kartchner will be touring three of the local middle schools, speaking directly to students on the aspects of social media and how cyberbullying can be harmful to their peers.

Kartchner's trip to Pulaski was due to what organizer Marcie Cheshire said was five or six concerned parents who became aware of Kartchner and his TEDx Talk "Can flip phones end our social media addiction?"

In it, the speaker reminds parents of the difficulty of being a 13-year-old, and how due to social media, in today's society a young person's mistakes are not easily forgotten.

Kartchner is an example of how social media can be used for good, Cheshire said. He has helped raise money for disaster relief and charity, and used it to spread his own message.

But in his video, he explains that practically ever teen attempt or success in suicide has been due to social media or losing access to social media.

Cheshire echoes Kartchner's words when she says that parents do not understand the full ramifications social media has on their children.

They see how they use it to communicate, she said, and they know that kids that age like to be social.

"When they meet for lunch, they do it through Snapchat or these other apps. They don't even text. We don't want our kids to be left out or feel like their being left behind. I understand that," Cheshire said.

She said that she feels like Kartchner presents a positive discussion that helps both kids and adults.

"I liked how energetic he was and how positive he is, and how the messages he received from kids after the talks was impactful," she said, explaining why she felt the need to invite him here.

"Some people might be offended by this, but he's radical. Not radical in a bad way. He's not afraid to speak the truth," she said.

She said she believes that all parents can learn from his message. "If anything, they're going to learn it's [social media] a problem and that our kids are struggling."

Kartchner's TEDx Talk can be found via YouTube or the ted.com website.

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