Friday, October 1

Rage and Social Media

No, I didn't even make it a month away. I thought about posting a number of times and chose to ride my bike or work at the bench or tell my husband instead. This is different.

Last week a freshman at Rutgers University, Tyler Clementi, committed suicide by jumping off the GW Bridge. He was 18. My son is considering attending that school. He has friends there, and knows a girl who lived in Tyler's dorm. It has hit us close to home.

It seems that 2 of his dorm mates streamed video across the internet of Tyler, in his room, with another guy. They are charged with invasion of privacy and likely, bias crime.

I am completely baffled by the lack of boundaries that social media encourages. The availability and ease of technology changes people's attitudes towards privacy and dignity in the social networking arena.

I see a decreased level of empathy, and what really frightens me is the level of intimacy people have on line with strangers, people they don't know at all.

Mostly though, I am thinking about my son and the world we live in. I am also thinking about Tyler's mom and dad and the grief just overwhelms me.

Kiss the ones you love, and hold them tight today,


lisaroyhandbags said...

Hi Sherry - so glad you're back!
I heard that news story and it's so sad that because of the cruelty of others, this fine young man felt that he had no other choice but to end his life. Bullying has taken on a completely different severity with social media. How these two offenders can sleep at night knowing this is what they caused is beyond me. The world is a tough place nowadays and kids face much greater challenges now than we ever did at their age. xo

Jennifer Mullin said...

This story also hits me hard. As a high school teacher, it amazes me what kids will post online and what little sense of privacy they have. One of the downfalls of this online society we now live in.

connie said...

I so agree Sherry, this story has kept me awake at night wondering about someone who would do this... Growing up and finding yourself is difficult at best but to be bullied like this is so unacceptable!!!

Orion Designs said...

There will always be people who do not consider that their actions have consequences. With the advent of social media, these consequences can become enormous, as in this tragic case.

I too feel incredible empathy for this poor boy's parents.

Sherry said...

Thank you all for stopping back. While these young adults will be held accountable, isn't it stunning to see how grown ups also behave with social media?

I am amazed how many parents of my son's friends try to "friend" him on facebook. We say no, he says no.

This has hit our community hard, and now I see the story has traveled everywhere and how much sadness there is about it.

Pretty Things said...

I posted Ellen's video response to this on Facebook. I just had no better words than hers.

WolfeWoman said...

It is very frightening and sad, Sherry. Social media allows bullying to be done so carelessly, randomly. The boundaries of what is private must be decided carefully, and social media doesn't invite careful thought.

Catherine Ivins said...

your label says it all - "the world we have created" .... where is this all heading

hatjunkie said...

That is so awful. I think about this a lot as well."

elisa said...

I am so amazed at how far the LGBT community has come in just the past 40 years. And yet, with all of this progression, there is this huge amount of backlash. Why? And it's these kids who don't have the support yet and who may just be figuring stuff out for themselves for the first time - they are the ones that are getting hit the hardest. (or at least it looks that way). It's just terrible. I truly hope that anyone out there who is being bullied for who they love (or really for anything) feels comfortable reaching out to someone for help and support. And I truly hope that parents are having some serious discussions with their children about bullying. This has to stop.