Playing catch-up

http://www.ottawacitizen.com/health/Pediatricians+want+bedroom+smartphones+limits+kids+Internet/9091785/story.html

An interesting article.

“This is the 21st century and they need to get with it,” said Strasburger, a University of New Mexico adolescent medicine specialist.

Well, my supporters and I were kind of ‘with it’ two years ago. There always seems to be a few years before everyone catches up. One of my predictions for the future is that, just as cigarettes and alcohol are restricted, Internet use for younger people will be treated the same way. At some point, someone will cotton on that Facebook, Ask.fm and all the others are in some way part of the problem, and some bright spark will commence some sort of lawsuit against it all. I highly doubt that useless parents will ever do anything, but I foresee a time when the better ones exert much more control.

“I guarantee you that if you have a 14-year-old boy and he has an Internet connection in his bedroom, he is looking at pornography,” Strasburger said.

Within the scientific community, and society at large, there is still a very strange sexist attitude concerning boys. It seems to still promote the view that boys watch porn, and girls do not. This is quite dangerous, and I have banged on about it quite a lot. It’s about time that people acknowledge the activity of girls online. He could have just as easily written ‘I guarantee that if you have a 14 year old girl, she will have flashed’. Really, people need to stop being squeamish about all this.

However, regarding the Amanda Todd story, I think we should also get away from the slight red herring that all the males involved in online shenanigans are middle-aged perverts – that’s yet another misleading concept. Sure, there are people like that, but in a lot of the cases we are seeing now, nearly all the problems come from the peer groups of those involved. So telling your kid to watch out for older men is ridiculous – they need to watch out for their own friends, both male and female.

Meanwhile, I have found a Facebook page:

https://www.facebook.com/AmandaMichelleToddChildAbusePetition

Whoever is running this page seems to be quite concerned. Unfortunately, because they didn’t put the all important ‘Amanda Todd’ in the title, it only has 188 likes. Please give them some support.

I also add this site: http://themodernparent.net/digital-self-harm-what-parents-need-to-know/

ttfn

3 thoughts on “Playing catch-up

  1. Thank you for mentioning my Facebook page, Philip. There is one correction I wish to make. The page changed its name from “Amanda Todd Child Abuse Petition” quite a while ago, to “Cyberbullying Awareness and Advocacy BC”. Please note this, thanks. It started as a petition to change legislation in British Columbia, to include bullying as a child protection risk. Now it is more general, covering many types of cyberbullying, but still advocating for change in BC/Canada.

    • I noticed that you referred to me in a couple of your posts, so I sort of returned the favour.
      It’s a good page, but maybe it won’t really catch on, and I sort of feel sorry for you.
      Amanda Todd fever has sort of died down. At the back of my mind, I wanted to make this blog much more informative than it has turned out, but I quickly realised that any sensible stuff would either get ignored or just receive very few views. Also, any post much more than 100 words is dismissed as boring.
      The vast majority of people visiting my blog are looking for gossip – only a handful a week are bothering to read the important bits, but that’s better than none.
      You seem to be quite concerned about all this, and you put your points forward on the page – surprising in the Amanda Todd context, where most of the commentators are uneducated louts.
      Unfortunately, it looks like the Todd story has started to be detrimental. People have become tired of seeing her name all over the place, and most people now know, deep down, that their initial feelings of empathy and compassion were slightly misplaced. Whereas a few months ago a teen suicide had some sort of shock value, people are exhausted with it all – ‘Oh no – not again. How boring!’ (Look at the reaction to Savy Turcotte – hardly a ripple in the media now).
      And what has made it worse is that, in a lot of cases there’s a sort of ‘well, you could see that coming’ attitude. It’s like ‘I gave my son/daughter unfettered access to the Internet/drugs/drink/sex and it all went wrong. Why?’ from a lot of the parents. Or ‘We were so busy getting divorced or having our own personal squabbles that we couldn’t be bothered to think of the repercussions on our kids’ attitude. People are becoming a bit sick of it.
      It might be possible to say that no child has died from bullying. If you look closely at all the information, 9 times out of 10 there is some fatal flaw or something going on in the background that should have been noticed. In most cases, some of the bullying has simply been the straw that broke the camel’s back. I would go as far as saying that most kids would be OK if they are in a decent family. It’s not the fall from the cliff that kills you – it’s whether or not you land on stones or a feather bed.
      And again, if you look at virtually every Ask.fm account and every twitter account or any social media stuff, you will find horrendous insults on nearly every kid’s account. It’s just so prevalent these days. But what are you going to do? Lock up every 13 year old who says ‘you look like shit’ or ‘you’re a skank’?
      Beware – this bullying nonsense is fast becoming a smoke screen for other inadequacies. From parents, it covers the fact that most of them are too selfish or stupid – ‘Not our fault, blame the bullies’ – and from the authorities view, it means they don’t have to think too much about what is going wrong with education and mental health investment. Look at the Todd case – stupid parenting? Too difficult to deal with. Allowing kids to have sex, drink and drugs? Meh – too many of them. Online exhibitionism? – ooohh, too nasty to think about. Feeble school supervision? No, not us. Cuntish psychiatrists who think they are clever? Ummm….no, doctors are always right. So let’s think….I know – blame the kids!!!! Kill the bullies!!! Easy peasy – everything sorted!
      Thanks for dropping by!

      • Thanks and some good points. Don’t feel sorry for me. Numbers really aren’t important as much as I have learned a lot from the efforts and helped a few people along the way who have been cyberbullied. Even if no one joined, I’d still be learning. And I am not personally invested in it.

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