Digital stupidity?

I came across this forum entitled ‘what to make of… stupidity’. This is the first post to the thread:

‘I have been seeing a rash of cases in teen age girls who….. are just plain stupid with digital technology. By this I mean sending nude photos of themselves to grown men (via phone, webcams, emails), or soliciting sex online. I have 8 girls in the hospital and 4 of them fall under this, while another one was involved in child porn. Their parents found out and brought them in for evaluation. Thing is, they don’t really meet criteria for mania or depression. Certainly low self-esteem (and daddy issues), but other than filing a CPS and police report I’m not sure why they are in the hospital.
Given the recent focus on online shaming and subsequent suicides like Amanda Todd and Audrie Pott I’m wondering if a case could be made the they are a danger to themselves even though they engaged in these activities of their own free will? Most of these girls are upset that we informed the authorities and even try to protect the perpetrators.

My question is: are such activities really a criteria to hold them? And if so how should I be wording it to make it sound so?’

Of course, this started me thinking about the relevance of this to my blog.  Is this guy behind the curve or what? This has been going on for some time, and for some reason he’s only just cottoned on?

Regular readers of this blog will know that I have been trying to get to grips with all this, and, to a certain extent, to try and shout and scream that the Amanda Todd story is much more centred on inappropriate Internet activity than it is on bullying. And regular readers will know of people like Roy (amongst many others) who have been trying to deal with a lot of this. However, the Todd supporters have deliberately tried to suppress any talk of Amanda’s online behaviour, thus losing a massive opportunity to understand this relatively new phenomenon.

But there are other interesting points. The guy talks of a rash of cases. It would have been good if he could have been more precise, but one can guess that he means quite a few, and from the tone of the post, it sounds as if this is quite recent. And you can bet that if he’s seeing it, it will be prevalent in many other places. Yet when I have written about it here, and hinted at the size and scope of the problem, it seems to be ignored.

He goes on to write of soliciting sex online. I’m not quite sure what is implied here – soliciting on a prostitute level, or just for fun? Some of this sounds as if it could be straight out of the Amanda Todd story. Although I have found no concrete evidence, rumours abounded about Amanda working on sites where gifts would be sent (hence the repeated tag of ‘whore’ as someone who sold herself), and what went on in real life is anyone’s guess.

But let’s move on.

This guy has eight girls in hospital. In hospital, godddammit! Surely this just shows how odd this all is – that girls are ending up in a mental hospital because nobody can really deal with the problem. Something has gone seriously, seriously wrong if parents are having to take their kids to what is essentially ‘online porn rehab’. Is it really so shocking for parents that they can only rationalise it by saying their kids are mentally ill?

But it can’t be a mental illness, can it? We have seen Histrionic Personality Disorder mentioned a few posts ago. This person writes that it doesn’t come under the mania or depression category, though, within the Amanda Todd story, it seems that depression was used as a smoke-screen to cover all the shenanigans. But can we find a photo or instance of Amanda being unhappy? No.

Low-self esteem. A big question. It is my view that with Amanda it was the opposite – it was arrogance that took her into the online world. It might sound harsh, but I think she actually thought she was God’s gift, hence the inability to comprehend why people didn’t like her. She wasn’t looking for love in all the wrong places – she was looking for attention at any cost.

Daddy issues. Well, I have to admit to laughing at this. Amanda chose to stay with Norm for two years – two years in which she got a lot worse. And her Facebook identity was ‘foreverdaddysgirl’ – something which has an air of salacious teen yuckiness about it, and which, no doubt, alienated Carol from her daughter even more.

As usual, we have the silliness of mixing up Audrie and Amanda – we are only missing Rehteah Parsons et al. These stories are different – the other girls were very much victims, and didn’t parade themselves around for attention like Aurora, Jessi, Amanda and our old friend (or should that be fiend?) Peyton Ramsey. It annoys me that in all this, simple laziness mixes these stories together.

Finally, we get the very important nub of the problem – ‘they are a danger to themselves’, ‘they engaged in these activities of their own free will’, ‘try to protect the perpetrators’.

Throughout this wretched story (for that’s what it has become) I have often stated that some girls are the main protagonists in their own downfall, yet this has been furiously attacked by many people. We have. on one hand, ignorant and uninformed Feminists (with a big F) who blame all men and on the other hand, very suspicious men who also blame all men. We have the lunatics who want to blame adult men, when over and over again it has been proven that the vast majority of this stuff goes on within a contemporary peer group. We have idiotic mothers and fathers who seem to point blank refuse to accept the fact that girls can be doing this, and either stick their heads in the sand or try to turn t into some sort of modern-day aberration caused by everything (even, in this case, mental illness) except their own pathetic inadequacies. And we have the likes of Carol Todd and her supporters, desperately trying to re-write a history in which Amanda was like one of the girls from Little Women, a fictional sugar-and-spice piece of perfection who was brutally treated. All poppycock.

We have to come to terms with teenage sexuality and stop just ignoring it. We have gone well past the days when a girl would flash behind the bike sheds for a packet of fags and only a handful would witness it; the days of school playground gossip, in which the usually untrue rumours would stay within the confines of the campus, are gone. The Internet and all it entails gives these girls the perfect outlet for displaying their newfound bits and pieces worldwide. And they do so quite willingly, and quite aware that their attributes will gain attention. It is just very sad that not all of them realise the consequences, and a few – very few, in reality – will suffer for it.

The idea that the Amanda Todd story is one of bullying is so stupid that words fail me. It’s a complex story that brings together so many different strands that it is almost impossible to explain. But until people wake up to what really occurred, vulnerable teenage girls will continue to get themselves into these predicaments.

I am hoping that this post will stimulate some arguments, but I have my doubts. I just hope that maybe one or two people might begin to see what is really happening, and I hope that sooner, not later, the core problems will be looked at properly by people who are more qualified than me.

Have a good weekend!

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