Saturday, February 04, 2006

source of anxiety

If the sharks, anthrax or hurricanes don't get you, will. has become the latest source of media-perpetuated anxiety. We've moved on from Laci Peterson, Natalie Holloway and the other photogenic women who were snatched from their families' lives to something new: an isolated incident that will leave you want to look up your daughters and throw away the key. Just like rock n' roll for generations in the past, people fear and demonize what they do not know and parents do not know what the hell is -- or what it, or other sites like it, mean to their child's generation.

I read a post on The in response to the latest hullabaloo about The writer was outraged that others were suggesting that parents should take responsibility for protecting their children from the evil that lurks out there -- in the real world and on the web because, quite simply, parents can't watch their kids 24/7. I didn't post to the site because, to be honest, things were getting a little nasty, but I wanted to say, "No one is expecting you to watch your kids 24/7. We are expecting you to teach them lessons about life that they carry with them in their hearts and minds -- even when you are not in the room."

I grew up in Middletown, CT and there's an AP story coming out of Middletown that as many as seven girls between the ages of 12 and 16 have recently been assaulted by or have had consensual sex with men that they met on and who claimed to be younger than they are. It's a sad story and I hope the girls get the support they need in order for this to not damage them in the long term.

But this is not the fault of It's the fault of the guys who assaulted them. There was no when I was 12 to 16 in Middletown. But there were guys who preyed on younger girls at the roller skating rink, at the bowling alley, at the football games, at parties, with booze, with drugs and with the fact that they were older and cooler. And it wasn't just happening in Middletown.

In other words, don't think you can turn off the computer and make it all go away.

By the way, Seargent Bill McKenna? Yeah, I went to high school with that guy. He was Billy back then and a total tool. Played football and wore his jersey with a white turtleneck on game days. If Middletown was a mining town, he would have been Tom Cruise in All the Right Moves. I have a funny story about him from our five year high school reunion that I would love to share with you, but I don't think he'd like it, so I'll refrain.

Oh well.


kh said... is, I find, completely weird & creepy. Someone invited me, so I got a profile. Not on there much - it's a total nuisance - but I know of a teacher who's seen one of her students' profiles, 17 and swigging from a bottle of vodka. There's just a tremendous naivete about all of this "transparency" we have these days. I don't think kids are encouraged to think about the ramifications of their actions or about their reputations or safety.

kh said...

Not exactly the same issue, but related to the myspace stuff, is this: