Since it’s founding in 2013, the Don’t Press Send Campaign has grown significantly. What started out as a community-based project has progressed to something much greater in scope beyond the local level. Not only has Katie Schumacher spread her message personally in numerous schools, from the elementary level to the college level, but also her mantra of kind and careful online communication has reached those miles away through the Don’t Press Send App. The app has crossed continents and serves as a reminder that technology, though it has its pitfalls, can be used as a tool to fuel learning and transport one’s voice to places in which the message would have otherwise gone unheard. On June 15, 2016, Katie was featured in the Mineola American. Betsy Abraham summed up the issue of technological dependence by stating, “For teenagers in today’s world, a cell phone has become like an extra appendage." Her article highlighted and justified Katie’s accomplishments while reiterating the importance of the cause. In addition, on July 12, 2016, the Don’t Press Send book was officially released on Amazon. This book is a helpful guide for those raising or educating children in the digital age. Katie infuses her experience as a mother of three teenagers with the insight she has gained throughout the Don’t Press Send journey to enlighten and inform readers about the boundless world that exists on the other end of the screen. There is a huge gap between parents and children in terms of understanding the rules of online behavior. Katie aims to close the gap, therefore diminishing the ignorance that comes with unfamiliar territory. She emphasizes that, whether or not kids blatantly seek out guidelines, they flourish under the stability of a well-regulated environment. To structure something as vast as the Internet may seem like a daunting task, yet the goal of the Don’t Press Send Campaign as a whole is to stimulate communication. Communication is the bridge that leads to change, and once conversations occur, families can better navigate the unknown. It is a collaborative effort, and there is still a long way to go. The issues that Katie exposes are still prevalent today. Katie hopes that as her campaign continues to grow, the unknown rules of cyber civics will become clear, and that education will guide people to be more mindful of their social media interactions.
-Kelly Jahn, Senior DPS Writer