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@belllindsay @allenmireles This is such a critical point. I'm in NO way a perfect parent but I have a couple of house rules. No Wii, Internet, or TV during the week. A big part of this is that I figured out that it really affected my daughter's ability to fall asleep. She can read all she wants though. We also go the library every Sunday and she can check out up to 20 books as long as she keeps track of them or pays the fees out of her allowance. (I also check them for age appropriateness) She has a limit of two hours of screen time on Sat and Sunday and I set the timer. This seems to be working...so far.
1 month, 1 week ago on How Online Bullying Affects Your Brain
@belllindsay @KenMueller Totally agree with you both. The damage, as I wrote in my very long comment, goes beyond hurt feelings. It can be life changing. And guess what? When it is "out there" on the Internet there is no way to pull it back or defend yourself without spending days (months?) finding every instance out there.
@belllindsay (I'm hating LiveFyre because it "lost" my long, thoughtful comment!) Lindsay, it is truly amazing how this behavior is starting so young. The sad and confusing part is that I know good parents who have been sickened to find out that their kid is being a bully. And I would bet that these 13 year old bullies will grow up to be adult bullies - an even more terrifying thought. When I was 13 there was bullying but it was pre-Internet so anything said was said to another kid's face. Hiding behind the written word makes it so much easier for kids to bully.
I digress though...Until you, your friend or loved one is bullied on-line it is hard to imagine the feeling of total helplessness. I've had that feeling and it is terrible. In my case, it was on Twitter and how do you correct the facts in 140 characters? You can't. I couldn't. So I'm confident there are a large number of people who have a certain impression of me and my employer. An impression that is based upon incorrect information. I know I'm not the only one who has experienced this. And the really shitty part of bullies is that if you offer to resolve the situation in a phone call, they will refuse. It's a good strategy because they aren't accountable nor do they have to stop and you don't have any way of stopping them either.
I totally agree that healthy debate is important and needed. However, within the social media bubble, I don't often see respectful, healthy debates. Instead of "Huh. I never thought about it that way" there is a free fall into nastiness - subtle and not so subtle. In theory, the "attack the idea, not the person" is a reasonable approach. It is tricky though because an idea is intrinsically connected to the person who has the idea.
As well, I deeply believe that the majority of people who write nasty comments, posts, etc. would never, ever say those words to the person's face. That, to me, should be the litmus test for anybody communicating on-line.
Words can hurt - yes. But, what I don't think people realize is that words can ruin another person's reputation, cause financial and custody issues, or in a hell of a lot of trouble at work or even get someone fired. The stakes are MUCH higher than most people realize.
The bottom line for me is that I know when the line between healthy debate and bullying has been crossed. It is a fairly thin line but I know it when I see it. I think most people do.
Great article and topic, Lindsay. I've been a target, and I worry about my 8 year old being a target one day. I feel/felt so strongly about this subject that I published a book called Civility in the Digital Age, by Andrea Weckerle at www.CiviliNation.org. Andrea's book is a real gem - case studies and great advice. http://amzn.to/12IMYe3 There are so many different aspects of bullying and in many cases can ruin people's lives. Kids are killing themselves because they are being bullied. It is a national crisis, IMHO. We need to keep talking about it.
@ginidietrich @dbvickery I think your editor's daughter, who's birthday is the the 12th, should be that month. Hmmmm???
4 months, 2 weeks ago on Spin Sucks: The Book