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Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Talk to your kids about Twitter.

PSAs like to focus on how to discuss drugs with your kids, but after this story on the Rutgers student killing himself over a secret taping of his sex life, you'll think maybe the focus should be more on how to address social network abuse. Beyond that though, these are the discussions parents need to have with kids — not just “TAKE DOWN THE DRUNK PARTY PICTURES FROM YOUR WALL NOW!” Problem is, I’m not sure they can speak with the same authority about Twitter that they can about drinking and smoking.

This isn’t just bullying or college pranks gone wrong. The suicide of the person shown in the video stream (by Dharun), takes bullying into a realm where Moms can bully kids into killing themselves. Part of the parent in me detests that a kid was possibly driven to suicide over being outed on camera. The other part of that parent in me sympathizes with the digitally native naive student who did something stupid without considering the consequences beyond their college bubble.

There’s no easy answer when the real world and online space become the same battlefield.

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