This past Tuesday’s ECMP355 class was an eye opening one for me.  You see, I was born in 1986 and did not have access to ‘home’ internet until I was about 14.  And even then it was dial up, and I think we only had so many hours of it a month before it cut out.  By today’s standards, I was living in the dark ages.

However, with those ‘dark ages’ came a sense of simplicity that will likely never again be experienced in the developed world.  My mother did not have to teach me about digital identity or that the wrong picture could literally cost me my life.  One word to sum up my feelings toward all of this new information I obtained in class is SICK.  As a parent to a 3 year old girl, it makes me sick that I will have to somehow educate her on a world I know really nothing about.  This non-understanding is almost a form of ignorance I could

In an earlier talk by Monica Lewinsky she describes her experience of being publicly shamed and ridiculed.  “A punch to the face” seemed to sum it up in a way that most people could likely understand, but hopefully will never have to.  In her TED talk, ‘The Price of Shame‘, Monica Lewinsky seems stronger and more like a survivor of something horrible.  The part that got me was when she said her mother would make her shower with the door open because she feared her daughter would do the unthinkable (suicide).  I could not imagine feeling so helpless.

In the case of Amanda Todd it does not end with such a story.  She ended her life because of a mistake she made.  You see, Monica was 22 when her mistake occurred.  Still young, but had at least been a part of the adult world for some time.  Amanda Todd was only 15! 15!  She made a mistake at 15 that cost her her life.  That is hard to even fathom, and I think I only can becuase something like this has never happened to someone close to me.

As shocked as I was with the above two videos, ‘Sext Up Kids‘ brought that too a whole new, scary level!  This documentary was truly a learning experience for me, as I had no clue ‘sexting‘ was such a trend, especially among such a young age group of girls.  It almost seem like it is the new norm in flirtation.  In fact, when I typed  ‘sexting’ into google, it primarily gave ideas on how to do it.  In other words, not only are young girls sexting, they are being encouraged to do it!

Whether it be sexting or any other form of public shaming, I truly do not know how I will bring up the topic with my future students, and even more worrisome, I have no clue how to bring it up with my children. Luckily, I have access to good ol’ Google, and was able to find some really helpful articles:

Article 1, Article 2, Article 3, Article 4, Aritcle 5

These articles vary from being written by a child psychologist to a pamphlet handed out by a school board to parents to simple blog-type opinions and stories.  All have very good points and ideas about how to deal with such a challenging subject.  My personal opinion would be to start these types of talks young and promote honestly and integrity.  It is easier said than done, and I will let you all know in about 10 years how my talk with my girl went! (wish me luck, I’m already dreading it!)

 

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