Saturday, April 23, 2011

Technology and bullying

When I was a freshman in high school back in the 1970's I was bullied and teased. It was a very hurtful time. I look back on that time and there were probably a handful of people involved in the teasing. I can think back on all the feelings I went through at that time and the thoughts that went through my head. This was with a handful of people teasing me.
I can't imagine what it must be like today. Kids and teens are bullied and teased on the internet, Facebook, cell phones and other gadgets. Not just for a handful of kids to make fun of them but for hundreds and even thousands sometimes. How aweful. I hate to use an old phrase here but I am going to. "What is this world coming to?"  What will it be like in the future for these kids as technology progresses and parents are not able to keep up with the technology and won't have a clue what is going on with their teenagers. This is very frightening for me because I have a teenage son and I am trying very hard to stay on top of the technology but I can only do that with God's help. Technology changes all the time. It is progressing at such a fast pace.
I have posted a similar topic before asking parents to monitor their kids on Facebook and internet. I know it is not easy but we have to at least try.
I don't even want to sound like I know what parenting is all about because I don't. I lean on the good Lord and hope and pray for my family every day. This is just my little reminder to watch and pray.
Here is a story I read on another blog that prompted me to write this post.

The Facebook Generation...

Two recent stories suggest that a disturbing practice has found acceptance among teens and young adults: broadcasting the sexual misbehavior of their peers, especially girls, on a massive scale within hours. Photos preferred.

Is it just gossip, gone digital? “Mean Girls,” with a sexual twist?
I don’t think so.
Some commentators too easily dump these incidents into the overflowing bucket of cyber-bullying or dismiss them as teen-age drama, writ large. But these episodes deserve a second look.
A few months back, a Washington state eighth-grader named Margarite “sexted” a nude, frontal photo of herself to her new sort-of-boyfriend. Within weeks, their fledgling relationship died.
The photo lived on.
The boy sent it to another girl who captioned the photo, “Ho Alert!” and added instructions: “If you think this girl is a @#!*% , then text this to all your friends.” The photo instantly ricocheted, via text, from one social circle to another. Within hours, students from four different schools had ogled the sexter’s naked body and passed the photo on. The eighth grade girl was devastated.
The second situation occurred in the upscale suburbs of New York City. Someone created rankings of 100 allegedly sexually adventurous girls and boys from the surrounding school districts and circulated the lists using Blackberry Messenger.
One teenager (who claims he was not the original creator of the lists) quickly created a Facebook page called the “Westchester SMUT List” (“SMUT” meant “ @#!*% ,” thinly disguised to evade Facebook restrictions), and posted only the girls’ rankings (including full names and descriptions of sexual activity).
Within hours, thousands of people saw the list. Over 7,000 of them “liked” the Facebook page that trashed the girls’ reputations. And with one click, each of those viewers magnified the damage, publicizing the page instantly to his or her Facebook friends.
The sexual behavior of the 8th-grader and of the SMUT 100 (to the extent the reports are true) reads like an MTV script. And that’s certainly a huge problem.
Read the rest here:

How horrible for those girls. My heart goes out to them. At the end of the story the blogger ask a very good question. What are we going to do about this.

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Dear Lord help us to educate our family for your glory.

"Since parents have conferred life on their children, they have a most solemn obligation to educate their offspring. Hence, parents must be acknowledged as the first and foremost educators of their children. Their role as educators is so decisive that scarcely anything can compensate for their failure in it. For it devolves on parents to create a family atmosphere so animated with love and reverence for God and others that a well-rounded personal and social development will be fostered among children. Hence, the family is the first school of those social virtues which every society needs."--Gravissimum Educationis (one of the documents of the Second Vatican Council)

Helping and Loving Our Neighbor

Corporal works of Mercy
Feed the hungry

Give drink to the thirsty

Clothe the naked

Shelter the homeless

Visit the sick

Visit the imprisoned

Bury the dead

The Spiritual Works of Mercy
Admonish the sinner

Instruct the ignorant

Counsel the doubtful

Comfort the sorrowful
Bear wrongs patiently

Forgive all injuries

Pray for the living and the dead

Good Samaritain