That’s Not Cool: New Campaign Can Help Parents Too

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N101674166859_2699Digital abuse is yet another of the new hazards that today’s teens and pre-teens face. Get a cell phone or join a social network like Facebook or Myspace or even just an email account, and you’re open to unwanted contact from so-called friends and “significant others.”

It’s also another one of those topics that’s just plain hard to talk about. So the Ad Council has hooked up with the Family Violence Prevention Fund and the Department of Justice’s Office on Violence Against Women to launch a clever site to give teens advice on how to deal with “textual abuse.” (Just what we need — another catch word to

The site is called That’s Not Cool, found at The creative team at R/GA has put together an engaging mix of videos, forums and what they call “callout cards” — images that teens can add to their social networking profiles or send by email as a not-so-subtle way of telling chronic texters to cut it out.

Check out this video that many teen girls can relate to:

Test yourself by clicking on one of the three answers. Then head over to That’s Not Cool for more videos. Based on the responses from teens, the videos hit the mark.

While you’re at it, take a few minutes each month to check your cell phone bill. Look for patterns in text messages sent and received by your child. Offer a listening ear if you see excessive text message sent to your child.

I know as a parent, I was more concerned about what my teens might be doing to their friends or classmates. It wasn’t until after a bad break up (and some graffiti on our garage door) that I considered that our daughter could be on the receiving end of the unwanted attention. The videos at are cool enough that it might have made talking with her about unwanted attention a little bit easier for us parents!

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