Thursday, April 4, 2013

Rizzo's Ramblings... The wonders (and horrors) of Facebook and other social media

I have had a Facebook account for years. I have had an account since the people who made it were automatically your friends; when Myspace was THE place to be. In the beginning, it seemed like Facebook was being used for people to connect with (or stay connected to) family and friends who were far away or whom they had not seen since high school. That is still what I primarily use it for to this day. Over the years it seems like it has become a place for society to judge people. Rather harshly, I might add. People put a lot of private information or pictures on Facebook for their friends and relatives to see.If they don't have privacy settings set a certain way all that information becomes public. There are a lot of teenagers (mine included) using social media today. Some of these kids have no qualms about posting embarrassing pictures or videos of themselves or others because they think it is funny. They don't mind posting that they got suspended from school for fighting or cursing at a teacher. They don't mind going on someone's wall and telling them what an awful person they are, or that they don't have any friends, or enough money. There have been a lot of reports of children harming or killing themselves due to bullying that has happened on social media sites. There is a name who comes to mind when I say this. Amanda Todd. She posted a video on YouTube telling about how she posted nude pictures of herself to someone and they were leaked to her family and friends. Then the kids at school started bullying her. She tried to move. She tried counseling. She tried a number of things (including this video) to get help. She ended up killing herself. At some point she drank bleach. I, personally, have seen children (who go to school with MY children) tell people to "go drink bleach". I always wonder what their parents think. I know their parents have a Facebook account, because they are my "Facebook friends". I wonder if they are "friends" with their children on Facebook  I wonder if they even go look at their kids' walls. I always want to make a comment on those kids' pages or their parents pages saying "Are you kidding me?", but I don't. Mostly because I am a coward. I am not a very social person, and I don't hide the fact that I don't go along with the crowd, so many of the moms around here do not have a very high opinion of me. Which transfers to my children. Especially my daughter because she is just like me. She stands up for the underdog and she is not afraid to tell someone they are being an ass even if the person she is telling is the most popular kid at school. I am proud of my daughter for standing up for people, but I constantly worry about how she is treated by these kids. If their parents allow them to say things like "go drink bleach" on Facebook  can you imagine what they say at school when their parents aren't around? Some of you will say that there are teachers and faculty at the school to handle things, but we live in a small town and the adults have the same mentality as the middle schoolers as far as friends and cliques and popularity goes. It is kind of disturbing. The whole point of this blog is to discuss what I saw on Facebook this morning There is a new page. "Tag Someone Who" is the name of the page. They post a meme and in the comments they want you to tag some who relates to the meme. Here are a few of the ones I saw this morning. "Tag someone who will never get laid". "Tag someone who eats like this" (With a picture of someone shoveling food into their mouth)  "Tag someone who thinks they got swag" "Tag someone who has been raped by a sloth". SO on and so on. I am REALLY disturbed by this. Being a teenager was so hard without all the social media, internets, etc, I cannot imagine what it is like for kids today. Why is it necessary for them to make it so much harder? What happened to building each other up and helping each other out? What happened to being there for one another? Thankfully, I have made some REAL "Facebook friends" whom I have never met, but feel a kinship to. These women are funny and kind and empathetic and sympathetic and honest about their struggles. They are non judgmental. They have a kind word for everyone. They try to help people. They use what they have been through in their lives to lead the way. They are a light shining in the darkness. THAT is what social media should be used for. THAT is what we need to be teaching our children! SO, with that being said I am going to ask YOU, as responsible adults, to REPORT these pages that promote bullying and judging of others. It is OUR job to protect our children. It is OUR job to police the social media they are using. I am not asking you to scold the children that are using these pages to be mean to others. That is for their parents to do. I am asking you to help take down the pages that promote such things. If we take a stand against it, then maybe we can make a difference. I am sure Facebook is not the only place where it is possible. However, I do not use any other social media sites and have no idea how they work. I DO promise that, if you tell me what to do, I will sign up for them all and help take a stand on them as well. It is time that we try to create a place of peace for our children. It is time that we begin teaching love and acceptance again.. It is time that we take the power away from those who would wield it to hurt others, and put it in the hands of those who would use it to help. It is time for a Facebook revolution. Who is with me?
                                                                  This is what MY daughter posts... What about yours?

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