A picture from http://www.animalbehavior.net
I’ve just added today’s post to take some attention away from the last one. It was slightly interesting to see patterns of attention seeking (as shown by Aya and Cory) still continue on a low level, but what was perhaps more interesting was to see that people no longer care. Two years ago, any girl going online with any half-assed story would have received at least a few hundred views and the compulsory combination of ‘We’re here for you’ and ‘You should go to Hell’ remarks. But not now.
It looks like the days of crazy self-revelation and general faggotry are long gone. Idiocy still exists for sure, but the days of Giovanna Plowman, Samantha Marie, suicide-threateners and others genuinely seem to be over. God only knows what a young girl would have to do to get attention these days.
Trends come and go, and cyberbullying was one of them. Young people change their patterns of behaviour fast these days – faster than the adults who are still getting their panties in a twist about it. Cyberbullying was a bit like a virus – at the beginning, it thrived, but then people either grew immune to it or they became aware of how to avoid it. It’s now been absorbed into teen culture, along with sexting, smoking Mary Jane, drinking, chlamydia, self-harm, and it joins the age-old traditions of physical bullying, the Mean Girls syndrome and all the other crap teens have to deal with.
There have been a couple of after-effects from the Amanda Todd story – there are still a handful (like the girl featured in the previous post) who think it is cool to be a professional victim and try to claim some of the Amanda Todd territory, but the best result is that, for the most part, Todd-like behaviour is now ridiculed. It’s not teaching or any anti-bullying campaign that’s killed it off – it just ain’t kewl, it’s like totally yesterday.
If you look at the ongoing desperation from the likes of Canning and Carol, the desire to keep fuelling the fire has become laughable. The sorts of problems that were described with words like ‘contagion’, ‘epidemic’, or ‘crisis’ have, of course, proven to be nothing of the sort. Look at the Press reports – the only real ‘victims’ they can find are from years ago. The Parsons story is stale; the Todd story is history; the Aurora Eller/Jessi Slaughter type of story is ancient history. I’ve found it difficult to locate any real big story so far this year. It was all a storm in a teacup. Todd and Canning must be praying for another tragedy to reinvigorate their bandwagons, but nothing happens. The Parsons and Todd cases have been shown for what they really are – very, very rare incidents.
People (the Press mainly) seem to still want to link cyberbullying in with every teen suicide, but to no avail. The Hannah Smith case put paid to the ordinary person’s instant belief that everything was straightforward, and the Rebecca Sedwick and Tallulah Wilson cases made people realise that there was a lot more to consider than simplistic stories of bullying.
I have noticed over the past year that attitudes have changed. People will know that this blog came down firmly on the belief that the root cause of teen problems was parenting. Sure there are mental health issues, sure there are bullying problems, poverty problems, sexualisation problems, but the one big common denominator was parenting problems. And this is beginning to come to the fore.
At the very beginning of the Todd story, people fell over themselves to manifest that kind of empty dramatic concern that only the Internet can provide. But as time went on, more people began to question things. ‘Where were the parents?’ became the more common comment on any article. I remember one of my favourite quotes about my favourite person was ‘Perhaps if Carol Todd had spent as much time being a decent parent as she does seeking publicity, things might have been different.’ These days, people don’t even bother to make a comment.
As soon as the responsibility of the parents started to take centre stage, everyone began to clam up. As soon as parents began to realise that they might have to start making an effort, it all went quiet. Parents don’t want to know that their divorces destroy their kids, not in these days when doing what you want for your own selfish needs is paramount. Parents didn’t really want to face up to the facts about what their kids were doing and how hopelessly adrift and rudderless they were in the ocean of teen emotions. That would disturb their complacency. It would make parenting not so much fun.
Anyways. The two guilty nincompoops (Carol and Canning) are continuing their seemingly neverending crusade to absolve themselves of any blame, both going down the route of ‘See what a good parent I was?’ for surely, only the best parents in the world allow their kids to self-destruct and then claim some sort of kudos from the result. The most shocking recent development was Canning allowing himself to be called the ‘victim’. How low can you go?
And that’s what it is, really. Canning and Carol, like so many others, have built a reputation based on abject failure, portraying themselves as paragons of parenthood, saints and sufferers. Only now they don’t seem to have realised – nobody cares any more.