Thursday, April 10, 2008

The Technology Monster ???

About five years ago when everybody and their pet acquired a cell phone, I thought the novelty of the cell phone would have worn off, but clearly I was wrong, it’s gotten worse. You just meet someone and within minutes they want your number, complete strangers want the privilege that my parents and probably the boyfriend and close friends have of asking “why weren’t you answering your phone?”

Try spending some quality time with someone, the phone keeps ringing, the emails keep coming. You are trying to eat, trying to buy something, trying to do anything, the darn phone is ringing. Walking down the street, driving is a painful and dangerous task. Why is the car in front of you crawling then speeding up then swerving? Because the driver is on the cell phone! People are so lost in conversation that they do not pay attention to what they are doing. I once saw someone on the highway driving with a laptop on the steering wheel trying to type?!?!

We’re enslaved! I’m tired of having to literally beg for service when the person who is supposed to help you is yapping away or texting with one hand and one eye oblivious to your presence.

Some gauge their self worth by the number of calls, hits, or emails they get. It’s as if your phone does not ring, no one checks out your Myspace or Facebook or sends you email means that no one loves you. Don’t get me wrong I’m not dismissing the benefits of technology, being able to be in contact so easily is a blessing for sappy folks like me, technology has made life easier but there is a very ugly side to it.

We are aware of how easy it is to capture anything, photo or video and share it with the world with the press of one button. Students are using their cell phones to make and sell pornography and a plethora of adult content. The latest I have seen on the news is this group of teenagers beating a fellow classmate and filming it to post up on the internet as a form of retaliation for something the girl had said about them. It’s not the first time this has been done and I’m sure it wont be the last, its the first time people are taking some notice of it.

The internet is a social network among other things and has become the best gossip tool out there. To be popular online you have to be “unique”, be a trend setter and sometimes that just means you have to be mean and nasty to get that attention. What will people not do to be popular?

What has me very concerned is the fact that so many parents and school officials think little or do nothing to address this whole bullying issue. Let’s face it bullying has gone high tech. Psychologists give you all the signs so you can recognize if your child is being bullied, but what if your child is the bully? No one wants to think that their child is a bully but the fact remains that some of them are. People argue that words can’t hurt a person but they do. Both parties are guilty in this case, the girl antagonized the other girls but I don’t think that anything she could have said warrants her getting beaten unconscious by eight girls. Girls at that! Why are girls becoming so violent? No one wants to be on the receiving end of meanness because to do something about it warrants even more repercussions on you, you become even more victimized. So how do kids deal with bullies?

This brings to light many questions that need to be addressed, not only within the family at home but also within the school. What happens on the internet affects both home and school. So what do we do about it?