By Aja Uranga-Foster, Holistic Life Coach
Hello Well Core community! I am excited to be a new member here. I am a holistic life coach, guided meditation leader, and stress relief specialist based in California. I enjoy sessions in my office with clients, as well as sessions with my clients in other states and countries over the phone or Skype. I am a fan of technology, albeit frequently afflicted with user-error…..and am amazed at how “small” the world has become with all of our modern tech tools.
Last year, I became fascinated with the intersection between technology and wellness. Specifically, where social media meets wellness. We’ve all heard about the misuses of social media, and the tragic outcomes for so many children and teens. But my intuition tells me this tool, social media and its numerous platforms, has capacity for something much greater than the low-vibration activity in which many people are currently trapped.
I’m working with a team on a new project called Above the Fray (BeAbovetheFray.org), which addresses the link between mind+body wellness and technology– specifically focusing on how wellness can be reinforced by social media, and how social media can be a delivery method for training young people about life skills. The goal is to train young people with tools for everyday wellness so that they become fluent in how to BE well. Over time, wellness can become common-place to them and as regular as cereal for breakfast.
Our main focus is researched-backed life skills training, as well as conducting our own ongoing research into the ways young people use, abuse, and are abused in their social media use. While there is some startling information about sexting, cyberbullying, and other misuse of social media, we also recognize the important benefits of this new online “world” to connect, learn, and do business. And the kids understand the good and bad as well. They literally live in that online world– they are the experts in the good, the bad, and the ugly of social media!
This idea for this project came to me from my experiences as a wellness coach, and I found an amazing team who can make it happen with me. Above the Fray’s mission is to create and empower healthy and responsible social media users. And we always go back to this idea: can you imagine what it would have been like if social media existed when you were in school? Scary thought. Social media is a powerful force and needs to be treated as such. You wouldn’t hand your child keys to a car without first teaching them how to drive. So Above the Fray teaches the “rules of the road” for the social media “superhighway.” This is not another awareness campaign. And this is not about prohibition from social media. It’s about teaching social media savvy + wellness techniques to provide young people with skills they can carry into adulthood. With the right tools and training, young people can accomplish amazing things.
There are four parts to the Above the Fray program: 1) 3 “How To” books about social media use: one for parents, one for kids, and one for educators, 2) An app for devices and computers, 3) Moderator Teams: teen-to-teen teams, and adult-to-families teams,
4) Life Skills Training in the form of online videos and in-person interactive presentations
We are looking for people all around the world who want to get involved. Specifically, we are seeking advisory board members for the new Above the Fray non-profit (based in California, USA), Life Skills Training content/curriculum editors, and anyone who is interested in helping to build our global community– people who can help kids to make demonstration videos based on the Above the Fray training.
Above the Fray is a newly-formed non-profit organization. Our website will launch this summer, and the first version of the Life Skills Training circulating online and in live presentations around the same time. And the online app is in development to go live by the fall. The app will provide a one-stop tool to learn about all of the social media platforms (and all the platform updates as they happen), earn badges for mastery of social media and mind+body wellness skills, report social media abuses, and connect with the global Above the Fray community.