Media Impact and Navigation

Why You Can't Give Up

Yesterday, our CEO had a meeting with Warner Brother's about pitching a TV show. She went in, and they told her no. Now, she's letting it push her even harder for that one yes. 

In the video, we witness Alexa cry. We witness her upset, which is not something we usually show on M.I.N.T. or even her social pages. But the message is this: everyone is going to put you down in this world. People are going to always tell you no, and it's up to you to get back up and push even harder for whatever you want your success to be. You can't give up, and you can't listen to what people think. All that matters is what you think, and how you're going to make your life the life that you want it to be. 

We started a Tumblr account for any of you who are dealing with anything and need someone to talk to: alettertoyourfriend.tumblr.com. We'll answer questions each month in a video. Steve will also be featured if you have any questions that are more in-depth and need a therapist to tune in on. 

Know you're not alone. Whatever you're dealing with, it will pass. You just have to get back up on your feet and keep doing what makes you happy.

Love, the team at Media Impact and Navigation for Teens

We're LIVE on GoFundMe!

We're officially LIVE on GoFundMe! The next steps for M.I.N.T. are to guarantee $4,000 so that we can bring M.I.N.T. to California + Austin schools, as well as apply for official nonprofit status. Anything that can be done will tremendously help us take our project to next level.

We've also offered some prizes to those of you that get your friends to give us a donation, too! Like a shopping trip with Alexa, a personalized beauty bag from Libby, and a personal coaching session with Steve. Getting AND giving back has never been easier!

Please share this link everywhere!

We're officially LIVE on GoFundMe! 

We're officially LIVE on GoFundMe! 

Watch our video too see more from Steve and Alexa, our founders, too!

Thank you all SO much for the help and support. We can't wait to continue this journey.

Sincerest regards,

The M.I.N.T. team

Why Not Us? Why Not Now?

Ever wondered how this project got started? Well, I’ll tell you anyway.

I met Alexa at a Talkspace conference in April 2016 in New York City. She presented eloquently and was very engaging during her discussion at the conference. At the end of her panel, the moderator noted that she was 18 years old. I was so impressed, I had to seek her out and tell her.

While lining up for lunch, I saw her. I told her I was really impressed by her knowledge of teen and young adult issues and her life experience. As we chatted quickly (of course, she was going somewhere else quickly!). we exchanged business cards. She was working out of Boston and we decided we should meet at some point.

When we did, we had two other collaborators who wanted to do the impossible: replace DARE in schools with a 60 minute panel discussion on mental health, teens, social media, and the stressors they faced. We did not have a name at a time but we had ideas and enthusiasm.  That was good enough to start creating a curriculum and talking to schools.

Our team worked at exchanging ideas and suggestions on how to present the material. It was exciting and we really wanted to go across the country and make these presentations. Our goal was to offer information, as well as educate in a fun, creative way, about the social media.

In time, our collaborators have worked with us behind the scene, as they had other personal and professional obligations that were happening. We both consider Jamieson and Abbey part of our team. Alexa Curtis and I have been working diligently to set up schools, create surveys, get good information based on studies, and a host of brainstorming ideas.

We got to speak to our first school in October. We then spoke in several other schools, 6 to be exact, spread across 3 states. We have enjoyed all the talks and gotten feedback on what was working and what was not. Alexa and I continue to work on MINT daily with passion and do everything to promote it.

So why us? Because we are a great team, we have added other collaborators since then. It will bring more excitement and more discussion, as well as a great set of opportunities. We can be flexible and present a curriculum that is adapted to the school need based on the surveys and information provided in them. We want this project to succeed. We want to reach out in every state. This is not something that is our job: it is our passion.

And we need to do it now. No one is talking social media, texting, and other newer communication devises and how it affects our teens lives significantly. We need to address it now before it gets more difficult. We are not looking to take away social media from teens: we want them to be more responsible and respectful with it, seeing the impact it has on them and on others.

It needs to be done now and we are the collaborative team to do it!

Compassion and Love

 

Do we overshare on social media? It is an interesting question and concept when you think about it.

We tell people how we feel about lots of things: from your Aunt Marie’s new haircut (heart, thumbs up) to the news out of your favorite political party (Yes!) or the opposition (clearly, they don’t get it). We also show indifference to certain people’s news and we then celebrate or vilify the little things of a former acquaintance we haven’t talked to or seen in years.

It helps define our views of others, as well as ourselves and also helps shape the circle of social media friends we have around us. It is a good way to also let others know where we stand and how you are a firm believer of whatever you. Social media lets us express ourselves freely and openly and this can be very rewarding and uplifting. IT is you, it is a voice, a way to let others know who you are and your stance on just about everything.

But is it something we should be doing? I think it is so easy to say what we want but it also brings less understanding of other points of view sometimes. We ignore certain things others may say as to not offend, or hurt or deal with the consequences. Sometimes, we speak up, where we feel it needs to be done and may be beneficial for others to know how you feel. This can cause conflict where we start getting more passionate and entrenched in our beliefs of what we said. But is this a good way to show compassion?

I think that we are allowed to say what we want but we also got to understand not everyone in our circle of friends will like, be pleased, or feel the same way about what we post. And we need to lear that this is OK. There is a place for a great dialogue in our new way of communicating, without name calling or standing so firm in our beliefs that it costs us a very important thing: our humanity.

This is not to say to not disagree or talk to the other person. We need to communicate it in a more compassionate way. Suggestions include:

-avoid all or nothing thinking: we don’t always need to prove our point. Sometimes, others will bring in another point of view. Don’t dig deeper in your trench but be curious about their point of view

-agree to disagree: I am a firm believer that root beer barrels are the best candy ever. Why should I fight with someone who posts a picture of Swedish Fish? I know this example is somewhat trivial but think about just agreeing on disagreeing on the other stuff too. No attacks are needed

-look at it empathically: we lost this skill on social media. Walk a mile in that person’s shoes and see where they are coming from. Maybe, from their point of view, the opposite of your beliefs can ring true for them.

- where is the common ground?: in all disagreements, there could be a common ground. That does not mean we agree on something, but we can find a place where we can all agree.

Show compassion for others and yourself on these platforms, it may just open your eyes. The whole “You are with us or against us” is a fallacy.

3 Tips To Combat Anxiety

Anxiety: we've all battled this one. It keeps you up at night, stressed during the day, and completely overwhelmed 24/7.

Here are three easy tips to overcome anxiety.

1. Reach out for help

          You'd be surprised to see how much reaching out for help can help. Whether you want to talk to a therapist or a friend, speaking about your feelings out loud makes everything seem a little easier, trust us. There is a lot of negativity surrounding therapy, but us at M.I.N.T strongly suggest having access to a therapist if you have one available.

Talkspace, iPrevail, and 7 Cups of Tea are free online therapy websites you can use!

2. Start writing

    Everyone needs an outlet to throw any negativity/ harsh feelings into. Our favorite tool is writing. Buy a journal, or open up Google Drive, and start writing all of your thoughts down. No harm in writing to specific people, too: you don't have to mail a letter that you write online!

3. Don't be ashamed

Since we speak to a ton of kids per day, we're familiar with what teens are dealing with. A common trend we see is a fear or insecurity of admitting you deal with anxiety. Whether you deal with anxiety, substance abuse, or depression, you have a right to be open and honest with what you're dealing with. Never be ashamed to talk about your situation with anyone, because you live in a world where you deserve to be treated with love + kindness all of the time.

Have more questions? Follow us on social media and talk to us! :) 

Meet Our Team

Welcome to the official M.I.N.T blog! Thanks for visiting our site. We're very excited to finally be LIVE! 

Most importantly, we're excited to give you BTS access to everything going on with Media Impact and Navigation for Teens. 

Let's introduce you to the creators of M.I.N.T first...

Steve Bisson and Alexa Curtis founded this project in 2016. 

Steve Bisson is a licensed LMHC based in Holliston, MA. Born and raised in Montreal, Steve moved to Boston 17 years ago and has lived here ever since. He speaks French and English. He studied at McGill University with a concentration in psychology, and we like to consider him the "book smart genius" on the panel. Steve has two young kids, and already sees the impact that social media has on the child brain. With a strong passion for influencing teens to start speaking out, Steve makes a fantastic addition to the team.

Alexa Curtis founded A Life in the Fashion Lane when she was 12, and began dealing with severe bullying and body insecurities. Many of her online pieces have gone viral, including this one on her experience in the modeling industry. She's appeared on shows like TODAY, GMA, Good Day LA and more discussing her experiences inspiring teens across the globe to follow their dreams and love who they are.

The M.I.N.T team is looking to expand. If you're a suitable candidate for this project, and are interested in young adults, please contact fashionlane@alifeinthefashionlane.com.