Most educators have already heard about this teen who made the “Sit With Us App”, to help students find people to sit with at lunch. The number of times I have seen it shared on social media, or brought up in conferences has been staggering.
Here is why the creator, Natalie Hampton, created this in the first place:
Natalie Hampton, a 16-year-old from Sherman Oaks, California, is the designer ofSit With Us, which launched on September 9. She was inspired to create it after she ate alone her entire seventh grade year, she told LA Daily News. The situation left Hampton feeling vulnerable and made her a target for bullying.
Hampton, now a junior, is attending a different school and is thriving socially. Yet, the memory of sitting alone and being bullied still haunts her, especially since she knows her experience isn’t an isolated one.
Hampton told Audie Cornish on NPR’s “All Things Considered” that the reason why she felt an app like this was necessary is because it prevents kids from being publicly rejected and being considered social outcasts by their peers.
What I noticed about when people shared this story was that they were saying, “This is a great idea!”, or “Amazing awareness to create something like this to help others!”, or some variation of those statements. What I didn’t hear was, “Ooohhh! Cool technology!”
I firmly believe that it is our thinking that creates the solutions, not any technology.
With that being said, we live in a world where there is a technology that allows us to create these things. The access to mobile devices has increased exponentially over the years, and things like Uber, AirBnB, along with a myriad of social networks, have been created because of this access. Many students before have had this same concern, but their opportunities to do something about it were much more limited than they are today.
Yes, it is our thinking that creates this solutions, but the technology that exists in our world gives us opportunities that did not exist before. We must acknowledge and embrace both of these notions.