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With cellphone cameras all around life's WOSRT moments live on and on and on.
Able to post, doesn't mean mature enough to decide WHETHER to post.
I understand your sentiment, and wish there was someway to negate the hate that is so easily spread online. But to become iconclastic about the internet? I'm not sure that is the solution. Maybe parents need to be more encouraging and accepting of their kids, and maybe the fact that so many of us never discuss the painful memories of our lives with youth lead them to believe they are different and worthless for having their own. Interesting article but flawed logic. We need more transparency, not less.
Thanks, Gail, for such a thoughtful column today. These events speak to so many underlying issues having to do with technology. It is, in fact, possible to criticize the way human beings used technology without criticizing the technology itself. Many parents are, in fact, supportive and loving of gay children, but the mechanism of social networking makes it hard for a parent's love to combat what a child lays him or herself open to when he or she opens her soul online. Transparency of emotion is far different from transparency for the sake of exhibitionism, which is what makes Facebook Facebook.
Why is the focus on technology instead of the choices these kids made? The technology argument is secondary to the lifestyle choice - quit obfuscating the subject.
Technology is merely the means. In the Candid Camera era, it was the telephone that was used to harass. Before that, it was passing notes in class. The focus should be on (mis)behavior, not technology. The focus should be on emphatic mental filters, not technological ones. And do kindly remember the bullying is decidedly NOT just a GLBT issue. Frankly, it is our archaic methods of schooling that are to blame here. We doggedly cling to an antiquated 19th Century system of education that blithely marches our children in-lock-step in age-cohorts for 12+ years. Then we stupidly sit back and wondrously wail about all the "peer pressure" and its attendant things like bullying. Gee, how'd *that* happen? Must be technology! Instead, we should be getting-with the 21st Century and looking TO technology to help us give students more customized and individualized attention. Individualized attention that will enable different learners to break-away from the herd ... and break-away from the herd mentality that generates bullying.
What exactly are you referring to by the "lifestyle choice" that "these kids made"??? I certainly hope you're not referring to the kids who committed suicide because of bullying related to their perceived identity as gay. And that their deaths were their own fault because they "chose" to be gay. That would literally - and I mean literally - be the stupidest thing I've read online this year. And on so many different levels. The mind would boggle at the abject stupidity and moral bankruptcy in such a contention.
Perhaps, though, you're referring to the bullies and their "lifestyle choice" to be bullies, and those are the ones who should "take responsibility for their actions". Even that ignores the reality of the nature of the adolescent brain, and the nature of much parenting today, and the nature of social interaction in the school structure, and yes, the nature of technology.
....But more importantly, why did no journalist care about the wide-ranging cyber invasion of peoples' privacy displayed for public consumption on the internet until it applied to a politically correct situation against a favored group; i.e., homosexuals. Why didn't the grossly embarassing displays of unsuspecting "regular" people's unguarded moments all over the internet spark any outrage from journalists?? That's called hypocrisy.
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