Advanced search

to feel so sorry for kids growing up in this social media era

(122 Posts)
whitesugar Tue 20-Aug-13 14:36:29

I am devastated for that young girl at the concert in Slane. My teenagers have just told me that she is no. one trend on Twitter. One mistake by a 17 year old and it goes worldwide. I am distraught for her and fearful for her safety. Also appalled that the boy is seen as a hero and she is vilified. Sometimes I just despair.

whitesugar Wed 21-Aug-13 13:25:10

Children of decent parents can go to a concert, get pissed, take drugs or get their drink spiked. This girl made a complaint to the police whilst at the gig that she had been sexually assaulted involving an incident unrelated to the images which were circulated. The police informed her parents who travelled to Slane to collect her. They are awaiting the outcome of tests to see if her drink was spiked. Not likely to show anything but doesn't mean that didn't happen.

Interestingly a lot of articles today are focussing on why people post without any empathy. They highlight that engaging in social media is a solitary experience and the more we stare at screens and less at faces the more we erode empathy. We don't see human emotions like tears or distress so the less we care.

Holy shit, get me off this planet!

dufflefluffle Wed 21-Aug-13 11:47:21

The true criminal is the person who took the picture and they should be vilified and made an example of in order to get the message across that this sort of action is not okay.

StainlessSteelBegonia Wed 21-Aug-13 10:55:52

I agree that this is an escalation of what used to happen back in the '80s, only in those days the girls who "put out" and had bad reputations were the ones from really crappy homes and their reputations were based on gossip rather than hard evidence. The whole year at school would know, and if it was really scandalous the year above and below as well, but that was about it.

Now the whole village/county/country/Western hemisphere can share the tittle-tattle, and for 10 white-hot minutes it will flare through social media. The real damage comes from these flashes of gossip being picked up and perpetuated by the mainstream media. After all, most MNers would have no idea this had happened without national paper coverage. And it's the national papers who will help the girl's name become known to a much wider circle of people.

This is an old problem, amplified. I am more concerned that we have these damaged young people still looking for status and affection in all the wrong ways and getting vilified for it, than I am about social media. It's only a story on social media because because tsking over the bad girl appeals to a lot of people regardless of age and geography.

I grew up in the age when social media was just appearing and it was so much worse. The police and schools weren't clued up on it so bullying was rife with no-one doing anything about it.

Nowadays at least there is some repercussion, though that won't be much of a comfort to the poor girl right now.

Sallyingforth Wed 21-Aug-13 10:38:40

Education is essential of course, but we can't expect young children to understand all the implications of what they are getting into - even if the teachers were constantly up to date with all the latest developments (which is most unlikely).
We teach children to be responsible when using footpaths, but we still put guardrails outside schools to stop them running into the road. Some things need actual prevention as well as advice.

MmeLindor Wed 21-Aug-13 10:29:54

We can't put the genie back into the bottle. Social Media is here to stay.

What we can do is teach kids how to use it responsibly, and that has to start much earlier than it does at the moment.

My DC are 9yo and 11yo and don't have any SM accounts, but I know that some of their friends do. There has been no discussions in school about this, and when I look at their friends' FB pages, they post a lot of info that they shouldn't. I am not friends with them, and their accounts are not locked down.

Teaching 15yr olds about Social Media is too late. And since we can't rely on schools to teach them, we parents must step in. We can't say, 'I don't do that silly FB stuff' and ignore it.

Bonsoir Wed 21-Aug-13 10:18:41

Absent parents encourage attention seeking behavior. DCs whose parents and siblings give them lots of attention are far less likely to want to impress their peers at all costs.

livinginwonderland Wed 21-Aug-13 10:13:23

Rich I agree. The stakes are higher and I think that's why people need to be much more aware than they were 10/15 years ago. Before the internet, people probably were caught doing stupid things and I'm sure people did take the piss for a while, but nowadays, it's not just going to fade away. It's there on the internet forever.

People need to be aware and not do stupid things in public. It shouldn't really be acceptable for people to perform sex acts on others (or for people to have sex acts performed on them) in public like that, cameras or not. Parents need to teach modesty and decency and how not to cave into peer pressure. The "dangers" of social media in this context are only there because the two parties involved were happy to act like idiots in public.

RooRooTaToot Wed 21-Aug-13 10:13:03

We do cover Internet safety in school, but I agree it could go a lot further. I remember talking to my year 9's about FB. So many kids have people who they are not friends with on their accounts.

I asked if anyone had a friend on their lists who they didn't know in RL. One boy put his hand up. I asked him why and he said that it was ok because he'd sent this person a message when they requested him and asked if he knew him. The random answered yes and so was accepted.

There was a pervert who managed to friend half the girls in the year group and sent them disgusting messages and photos. Once he'd found one person to accept them, he was able to make his way into all her friends accounts as they saw that they had mutual friends, so assumed that they were ok.

Parents really need to be vigilant about checking their children's social media, particularly with friends list. Also looking at what comments they are writing on photos. I've seen examples of vile sexist and sexually explicit language from children as young as 12. Bear in mind that I teach in a naice middle class school with children from highly academic backgrounds.

Also, smartphones should be checked regularly. We caught one 14 year old who had taken a picture of his penis and was showing it to other students. Modern day flashing.

I do agree with the poster that the issue of porn should be covered in sex education.

So schools could take the issue further, but parents need to educate and monitor more too.

nkf Wed 21-Aug-13 10:06:43

He looks like an utter arse. Standing there like that. And those idiots nearby. All of them. Hopeless.

Bonsoir Wed 21-Aug-13 10:05:22

Parents need to model healthy couple relationships and lots of physical affection in families. Talking about sex in a group context (classroom or similar) is pointless and counterproductive.

Bonsoir Wed 21-Aug-13 10:02:08

I don't think that the "opportunities" of social media outweigh the dangers for young people. Young people need real face to face human contact and physical and mental challenges outdoors. Virtual worlds are not good developmental paths.

RichManPoorManBeggarmanThief Wed 21-Aug-13 10:01:46

Living I agree with you, but I guess the issue is that now the stakes are so much higher than 10/15 years ago. One photo that might get you made a laughing stock for a week before it got lost/ too dogeared vs. the potential for you to be the number 1 share on Twitter within hours.

Perhaps the most important conversation to be having with kids is how to resist peer pressure/ doing stupid things to try to fit in because that's what many of these incidents come down to.

RichManPoorManBeggarmanThief Wed 21-Aug-13 09:57:36

Agreed- it's a powerful tool, and you can use it for good or evil grin. My job relies on networking and things like LinkedIn and even FB have proved very useful to me.

I think parents also have to lead by example- there are many people in their thirties and forties who massively overshare on FB etc. (looking at you DSis)

livinginwonderland Wed 21-Aug-13 09:54:54

I think there are a lot of layers to this story. No, the photos shouldn't have been shared. That's absolutely wrong. However, if she wasn't giving blowjobs in public, there wouldn't be anything to share and she wouldn't have anything to be embarrassed about.

I'm only 24 so in some ways I've grown up with Facebook/MySpace/Bebo/whatever, but I've never given blowjobs in public, and I've gone out and got stupidly drunk with cameras around. If you don't do stupid things in public, you won't have anything to be embarrassed about.

Yes, it's not okay to photograph incidents like this and share them with the world, but we should also be teaching children modesty. It shouldn't be okay to give guys blowjobs in public. If you tackle that behaviour (and both the girl and the guys are in the wrong there), then you don't have to worry about the social media aspect of it.

Sallyingforth Wed 21-Aug-13 09:53:02

MmeLindor that's all very well, but they are being thrown into the whole media thing long before they have the maturity to deal with it.

MmeLindor Wed 21-Aug-13 09:35:44

At the same time, we should not be all 'woe is me' about this.

Social Media also brings fantastic opportunities, and the chance for young people to network and advance their careers.

They just need to use it sensibly.

MmeLindor Wed 21-Aug-13 09:34:38

It is connected, and needs to be taught in school as such.

Kids should be talking more than the basic biological act of sex, they need to be made to think about respect for each other, enthusiastic consent, about porn and the way in which it makes many assume that what was once considered niche or extreme (BDSM/anal/group sex/sex act in public) is totally normal. The pressure put on both genders is immense.

Tied into this discussion is the one that kids need to have about Social Media. That pictures don't go away, and these updates may come back and haunt you.

Not just in extreme cases such as this, but also the everyday 'oversharing' that can hinder progress in their life and/or career.

Think about the young lad who posts about skiving school on FB, that he CBA going to geography class today. When he applies for Uni, will this information be looked at, and seen as a sign of a lad who is not willing to work hard?

Bonsoir Wed 21-Aug-13 09:33:21

I agree. The pressure to be on public display is intolerable and young DC should be protected from having to make a constant broadcast of their lives.

Sallyingforth Wed 21-Aug-13 09:28:17

It's not just extreme cases like this. It's the constant pressure to put your life out in public and be exposed to teasing and bullying. At one time bullying only happened in the playground or street. You were safe at home. Now there is no escape anywhere. I really fear for the next generation.

SomethingOnce Wed 21-Aug-13 08:47:59

Exactly what RichMan said.

RichManPoorManBeggarmanThief Wed 21-Aug-13 01:56:50

It's kind of ironic that we've spent generations fearing increased surveillance by the state (CCTV, ID cards etc) when actually teh real fear is surveillance by one another. At least Big Brother is only interested in your political leanings and level of law abidence.

RichManPoorManBeggarmanThief Wed 21-Aug-13 01:54:31

Taking the (very real and ongoing)double standards issue aside, the worry for teens of both genders, as Quintessential says, is that the stupid things you do as a teen (and who doesnt do something stupid/ inappropriate/reckless?) will potentially be captured on digital media forever, and can be dug out with ease if there's any public interest in you in the future, even if it doesnt bite you on the ass immediately. Back in my day (dinosaur stomps past), cameras still needed film, so at school parties no-one took cameras as photos too expensive to develop, and at Uni parties, maybe a few people had them, but they've only got hard copies of photos which have probably then been lost over the years.

Kids these days have to accept that their life is on public record. It's not how I'd choose to grow up, but it's reality and that's what I'll have to impress on them I guess.

garlicagain Wed 21-Aug-13 01:28:21

I keep thinking about how 'flappers' in the Twenties were seen as disgusting by many, and not infrequently vilified. There's a conversation to be had about how each generation of women has suffered for pushing through sexual taboos - but this isn't FWR, and I'm too tired to research & organise my thoughts around it.

garlicagain Wed 21-Aug-13 01:25:46

It seems to me that the problem has extra layers, PeriodMath. What value does sexual modesty have to a generation raised on pretty extreme porn? Whose music icons describe, and act out, sex acts in public?

To you or me, sex in public might be a boundary-pushing kick (well, it was for me blush) but the meaning's all different when sex appears to be happening all over the place, often with a camera crew and make-up in attendance.

It's a tricky path to negotiate. In some ways, issues like the one on this thread could be seen as an effect of change - new values clashing with the old, and girls coming off worse as usual.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now