Kim Karr and Mitch Winterlin: How to Change the Way Social Media is Used

Updated: Apr 29

Kim Karr is the co-founder of #ICANHELP, an organization committed to empowering students to promote digital safety and help change how social media is used as a positive platform. Mitch Winterlin is the public relations intern who is incredibly passionate about this organization and improving how social media is used.

Social media has too often become a platform that feeds the need of comparison and mental illness. But, it can be brought back to a place of genuine connection.


In order to build relationships with large social media platforms, they took the first step and sent a message to Twitter about their problem with the over-complicated process of reporting a harmful tweet. They replied to the message, was inspired by what #ICANHELP is doing, and made the changes needed.


What action steps can you take to limit your social media use?

  • Put your phone on do-not-disturb so that you check your phone only when you need to

  • Set a social media time limit

  • Take a social media cleanse.


How can you get involved with #ICANHELP?


Everyone can help! Mentors, students, schools, any communities can all get involved. #ICANHELP has 8 committees, each with an adult mentor, who help the organization market their ideas and spread the word.


#ICANHELP is such a powerful organization because of the passionate students involved. Every student that joins has a different passion for helping problems that are important to them, making the organization incredibly diverse.


Every month, supporters come together and have serious and courageous conversations about what is important to them. Communities and schools see what #ICANHELP is doing to advocate for social media change and apply it to their own communities, spreading the messages.


Find out more about #ICANHELP at https://www.icanhelp.net/ and on social platforms @icanhelpofficial (Twitter @icanhelp)


 

Sean McCormick 0:00 This week on Earn More Tutoring, I talk to Kim Karr and Mitch Winterlin about I can help and digital for good, a movement to empower students to take ownership of social media and change the way it's used. Kim Karr 0:13 When I first started doing this back in 2013, I literally sent a message out to Twitter and Instagram was like, hey, look, I deal with 13 year olds every single day, and it literally is nine steps to report something online. And they're using giant words that I had no clue what they were. And it's like they use these words. And then people don't even know what that is like, how are they going to? Why are they going to help you if they don't even you make them feel stupid trying to report something right. Sean McCormick 0:39 This is Earn More Tutoring, the ultimate crowdsource education entrepreneurship show. Today on the show I have Kim Karr, Executive Director of I can help. And Mitch Winterlin, the lead intern. Welcome, Kim. Kim Karr 0:51 Yeah. Thanks for having us. Sean McCormick 0:53 And welcome, Mitch. Mitch Winterlin 0:54 Thank you. Sean McCormick 0:55 Yeah, so I'm so excited to have you both on today. I'd love to hear the story. And to start, can Why don't you tell us about what I can help is and what you do? Kim Karr 1:04 Yeah. So my background is in education, I taught for 13 years in the the fun, awkward stage of middle school. So shout out to all the middle school educators out there. And I just kept having students come to me with all kinds of awkward situations, everything from being text messages to fig pages, to even like nude pictures, and they weren't sure how to handle that situation. So it was constantly stopping teaching to educate them and empower them on how they can handle those moments. And then it was from there. I get asked to go speak at a like a leadership camp on that topic. So the nonprofit hashtag I can help was created just because it really is about everyone can't help. The question is, will you and you know, how will you write so you can all do something. So we started empowering students what they can do and teaching them what we call being digital digital first responder, and then teaming up with big tech companies like everything from Twitter, Instagram, Supercell, Riot Games, to be able to to bridge that gap between students, schools and companies. Sean McCormick 2:06 Yeah. And Mitch, how did you get involved in how do you play a role in that picture? Mitch Winterlin 2:10 Oh, yeah, definitely. Um, so actually, I can help. I hadn't like heard about it before until I had been emailed. So at the end of my senior year, which was last year, in the craziness of 2020, I had served on the Iowa Association of Student Councils like student board, and my executive director at the time, it sent me an email from Kim just asking for volunteers and interns. And last year, I had applied to be the public relations intern. And I was grateful enough to be able to serve as that last year. And I just instantly fell in love with the organization when I found it, like just its whole message of spreading positivity online, and just trying to make a digital citizenship. really knowledgeable among all students is so important. And I've just fallen in love with it ever since and worked my way up to lead intern for this year. So I'm just really excited to make a difference and really connect people all over. Sean McCormick 3:03 Yeah. And what a great mission, right? I mean, we everybody knows, there are so many challenges with social media. I was just watching the recent Bo Burnham special, and he was just going off about, you know, in a way that I appreciate, like, wow, we've, you know, technology has had such a detrimental impact on humanity to some degree. I mean, of course, it's advanced us in so many ways, and we're all grateful for that. But at the same time, he used the phrase, it's flattening the human experience. And, you know, beyond that, we also know that, you know, and I'm sure you have so many more statistics you could share with me here, but that suicide rates of teenagers, and, and even younger, have increased with the advent of social media and technology. So I'd love to know more from both of you about what are the goals for for AI can help and how do you get in there and help to address this or, you know, I guess, repair the world in a way that you know, we need it, I'd love to hear more about what that process looks like and how that's going. Kim Karr 4:05 Yeah, great question. So our mission is there's three things that we focus on, the first thing we do is we empower student changemakers. We promote digital safety, and then we get to celebrate youth innovation, because that's the that's the key right there is to be able to have that full circle back to celebrate. And when students actually are using digital for good, it's we need to celebrate that when they're using it, how they should be using...


Check out the full interview below!




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