Sunday, September 28, 2008

Bindpoint Convo: Cyber Bullying

Good conversation we had in Bindpoint-Metatalks channel about cyber-bullying these days. (in reference to the My Space controversy discussed in Episode 36)

***WoWast: Metatalks Channel***
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[Cyber] Hello everyone. It is I, the Meta Moonknight
[Alachia] hola moon!
[Cyber] It has been a long time since my Meta form has been able to chat with you Alachia.
[Alachia] like a year!
[Cyber] wow
[Cyber] I have been meaning to post a response to the last episode.
[Cyber] Been listening on my trip to work and it has been excellent
[Jemimus] Heya Cyber
[Cyber] Hello
[Cyber] BTW, that case that you mentioned Jemimus. The girl's name was Megan Meier. That all happened near my city
[Cyber] Kinda surreal hearing someone speaking about it that was not on our local news broadcasts
[Alachia] yeah, I posted a wikepedia link to her page on my blog.
[Alachia] really sad story there
[Alachia] emotional abuse should really be a crime
[Jemimus] well I think they passed a law in the state that made it a crime now, did they not?
[Cyber] Yes it is now a crime
[Jemimus] I dont think those people ever showed remorse for that they did
[Alachia] I'm not sure they thought it was wrong
[Cyber] No, it was really hard dealing with it around St. Louis for a while
[Cyber] Then some guy posted a really evil blog about her
[Cyber] it was titled "Megan Had It Coming"
[Cyber] He later claimed that he was trying to prove a point but I never found out what the point was
[Alachia] the point being he's an asshole?
[Cyber] That was my take
[Cyber] The case really hit home with me. Made me wonder about a lot of things
[Jemimus] to me it says that we get a lot from the narrow aperture if online personal exposure, but we pay a price too
[Cyber] I want to only be angry about what the woman did but then I also feel a lot of anger towards Megan's parents
[Jemimus] I cant remember the specifcs of the case, what was the issue with her parents?
[Cyber] Well my issue with her parents and many others is that I do not think that young teenagers need to be allowed to have access to social networking sites like MySpace.
[Jemimus] I am not sure of I would agree with that one
[Cyber] Right before she hung herself, her mother had an argument with her regarding the language she used in response to the messages she was receiving
[Cyber] Well let me rephrase
[Cyber] I should not say that we need to isolate teens from online social networking, I just do not know where the line should be when it comes to allowing teens exposure to this environment.
[Cyber] Not to say that people are not cruel in RL, but somehow the written word has the ability to hurt more than the spoken one.
[Alachia] I think it's the actual accessability to broadcast cruelty that makes social networks and online media so dagnerous during that phase of adolecense
[Jemimus] I am not sure we are able to draw a line. Once you let someone on the internet, tne sky is the limit. Technical blocks are useless against the curiousity of a teenager. Only good advise and guidence can help, but in the end, you cant control what hey do, and you cant check it.
[Alachia] you can block sites, you can lock down computers but acutally shielding kids from kid cruelty is impossible.
[Cyber] this is true
[Alachia] I dread ever having a daughter for fear of knowing the type of horrible things I endured emotionally at school.
[Cyber] which is what scares me
[Cyber] I remember how difficult it was for me
[Alachia] there are even types of bullying that involve taking pics of girls in the locker room or bathroom with their cell phones and posting it on myspace or youtube
[Alachia] cyber bullying is the new wave of teenage angst
[Jemimus] I too, do not considder school to have been a happy time. However, here is nothing I can do about it. All I can do is advise my kids well, explain to them what they are going to encounter, both online and offline
[Alachia] even befriending girls as bestfriends and getting them to do stupid things just so they can post it to boost their own popularity
[Alachia] yeah. open communication and support is probably the best you can do
[Alachia] and of course, not turning your back to the technology and exposure you allow your kids
[Cyber] That is what I think I get angry about. I am not sure that we have enough parents familiar with what is possible online.
[Jemimus] I think guidance is key. We are in the position our own parents where not in.. where we can understand the technology aswell as our kids. But here is a really practical example of what I would do: Computer in the livingroom, with the screen facing the room...
[Alachia] aye, very wise tip for parents these days

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