When you, as a grown-up, appear topless on a television show, can you expect privacy?
What really constitutes cyber-bullying and why are Canadian (and American) laws so ambiguous in this regard?
I recently appeared on the Adrienne Batra Show to discuss this very topic (video link).
Cyber-bullying is real (and sometimes deadly) for teens throughout the world. It is a legitimate issue that we need to talk about in our schools and in our homes every single day.
The internet is a vicious weapon in the wrong hands. It can cause shame and pain far beyond what many of us (who did not grow up with the internet in our homes) could ever imagine. When an image is captured, it no longer disappears...it is now forever.
The choices our children make, and the associated consequences, now reach further and last longer than ever before.
What really upsets me, however, is when adults, who have made conscious decisions to act in a certain manner, utilize the phrase "cyber-bullying", when really they just have a bit of egg on their face.
So what, your feelings were hurt! So what, you are embarrassed!
When you make an adult decision to put yourself in a potentially compromising position, the consequences of such are yours to live with.
This does not mean that harassment of any individual (adult or not) is acceptable- it isn't. But how dare any adult diminish the reality of cyber-bullying- the pain and suffering it puts teens through- simply because they regret a choice.
Are we doing enough about cyber-bullying?
Perhaps it is because technology is moving too fast and our lawmakers cannot keep up. Perhaps it is because we don't fully understand the ripple-effect of cyber-bullying. Or perhaps it is because us grown-ups don't have a foggy clue what it is really like to live each and every day as a victim of cyber-bullying.
Sadly, bullying has not gotten better over the years. The methods have expanded and changed and bullying has morphed into something much larger than we adults can truly comprehend.
Let us not be so bold as to think we can.