“The worst thing that happened to Justine was that no one supported her, everyone was against her. That is profoundly traumatizing.” – Jon Ronson
I am about the same age as Amanda Todd would be now.
I remember where I was and who I was when her ‘story’ played out for the world to see.
Actually, I remember quite a bit about who I was when I was 15, but there is plenty more I have chosen to ‘block’ or forgot to remember because I am embarrassed by the choices I made, and some of the things I chose to do or say. The choices I regret have not had any lasting impact on my life. (other than my fried hair because I thought I needed pink and purple hair), but my facebook memories are a constant reminder of how terrible of a digital citizen I was as a teen. I think I am not alone when I say that I am horrified by some of the selfies and song lyrics I chose to share on social media, and am regularly deleting posts I find from my previous self.
Carol Todd talked quite a bit about her desire for us to educate our students about digital citizenship. Educating students about digital citizenship isn’t meant to push them to not use social media, but rather it is about helping them to understand that there are implications to what you post and the settings you use, etc. One thing I didn’t understand as a teen was how permanent the internet was. I am guilty of believing deleting something gets rid of it forever. I know now that isn’t the case.
Monica Lewinsky, talked at length in her TED talk about the price of shame. How shame and humiliation is a feeling like no other. As educators, we need to understand how powerful the feeling of shame and humiliation is so that we understand the magnitude how much our students can be feeling when they feel they have been shamed, especially when social media is involved.
Social media is such a grey area in schools. Social media is like air, it is all around us, you can’t always see it but you know its there, its apart of everything we. How often do we stop whatever we are doing to capture something for social media, we edit this post to reflect the type of person we want to be seen as. Social media in many senses is not reality, but what is said and shared on social media can become very real when it is laced with shame, humiliation and hurt.
Recently I watched Audrie and Daisy. This is a documentary rooted in the shame and relates all too closely with Amanda’s story and countless others. For me, it put it into perspective just how common this scenario is, how easily this could have happened to me, someone I know or someone I will teach. I would implore you all to take the time to watch this, I found it incredibly sad but also very eye-opening.
Be kind to one another.