You Write It Contest Winners

Congratulations to the winners of our You Write It Contest in the November 12, 2012, issue. We couldn’t have written these articles better ourselves!

Click here to read the You Write It interview that inspired these articles.

Check out the winning entries below:

Twitter Takeover

Ainsley N.
Plymouth Meeting, PA

Everyday, people send nasty messages to each other via Twitter. But Kevin Curwick has other ideas.

Kevin’s idea is a big part of his fight against cyberbullying. He got his miraculous idea after seeing tweets from students at his school. He couldn’t help but notice that there were rude comments posted. Kevin tells Scope, “There were some nasty Twitter pages coming out, saying negative things about people at my school.” So, Kevin decided to take a stand. He made a Twitter account named @OsseoNiceThings. He started anonymously tweeting kind compliments about victims of cyberbullying.

He says, “I created a nice page to help the kids who were being attacked and other kids who I thought could use a boost in confidence, or just something to make their day.” He pondered the subject before putting it into action, and his strategy worked.

Are you wondering if the negativity stopped due to his tweets? Kevin tells Scope, “Yes! Using social media to compliment people has really made cyberbullying uncool.” His plan to wipe out negative comments using his anonymous page has worked! When Kevin sends out nice tweets, people re-tweet and “favorite” them “four times as much as the negative ones.” This took Kevin by surprise. His idea was great for Twitter.

Kevin’s idea was so great that people imitated it. Many other schools have created their own nice pages after seeing Kevin’s creation. Kevin must be proud.

Sydney T.
Madison, MS

When Kevin Curwick logged onto Twitter, he was appalled at the nasty things he saw written about his classmates—people had made up hate pages to put each other down. He “decided to fight back on Twitter.” Kevin, an 18-year-old from Osseo, Minnesota, is now taking a stand against cyberbullying. He created a Twitter account (@OsseoNiceThings) that he uses to post compliments about his classmates.

This is how it works. Curwick has people from his school send him direct messages on Twitter, then he posts them, keeping the comments anonymous. He finds it cool to learn about the underclassmen and other people and their talents from the positive comments he receives; he also says that it makes you look at the person differently when you pass them in the hall.

The “nice page” has caused a positive reaction. His nice tweets have “made cyberbullying uncool” and taken away “the power and attention from the bullies.” In fact, people re-tweet and “favorite” his nice tweets “four times as much as the negative ones.”

The kindness has also spread. Kevin’s tweets became a bigger success than he expected. Many other schools have even followed his example by making nice pages of their own.

Kevin also has advice for those who have been victimized by cyberbullying. He advises cyberbullying victims not to respond. “Instead, focus on your positive qualities. Find people who will support you and love you,” he says.

He tells Scope that one way to use social media in a positive way to prevent cyberbullying is for kids to perform random acts of kindness on the Internet. He encourages kids to compliment people’s pictures instead of looking through them to tear them down. His advice for those who have nothing nice to say: “Just don’t say anything at all.”

The nice page is in full swing, but many of you are probably wondering what this senior will be doing with the nice page when he graduates. He says, “It would be cool to hand it down to another student who can carry it on” and let it keep going from there.

Kevin’s message can be very useful in everyday life, especially on the Internet. Work hard to build others up and be polite rather than tear each other up with words of hate.

William B.
Farmington Hills, MI

“Twitter Takeover” is a story about a thoughtful young man who uses a popular social media tool to change the lives of his peers.

Kevin Curwick, an 18-year-old from Osseo, Minnesota, is taking a stand against cyber bullying. He created a Twitter account that he uses to post compliments about his classmates.

Kevin is learning about his classmates in a different way using his friendly Twitter page. Kevin created it after he saw a Twitter page with some mean comments on it about kids in his school. Surprisingly, the compliments on Kevin’s Twitter are way more popular than the negative comments. In fact, they get four times as many “likes” and “favorites” as the insults. It has also made cyberbullying unacceptable in his school.

Kevin’s nice page “exploded a lot more than [he] expected.” Also, other schools have started their own nice pages. Kevin’s idea has gone viral!

Kevin is giving kids great advice on what to do in case a cyberbully targets another person. His advice: “Don’t respond. Instead, focus on your positive qualities.”

“If you don’t have anything nice to say, just don’t say anything at all,” Kevin explains when discussing how social media can be used for good. He points out that there are a lot of opportunities to be kind to others on the Internet. For example, kids can come up with compliments after looking at a person’s photos on the Internet.

Kevin has plans for the future of his friendly page. He would like to see it continued by another student who would also post compliments anonymously. Thanks to Kevin, students at his school are learning the meaning of friendship.

 

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