Social media has come too be in the nation’s news for the last week because of the role it played in the Steubenville, Ohio rape trial. This trial highlights not only what happens when technology is used inappropriately. It highlights how wrong things have gone in our society, in our hero worship of sports, and how accepting we have become about the degradation of women. Men with bad behavior towards women have been a part of our society from the beginning of time. What is more unusual about this case is the bystanders that did not go to this girl’s aid. The bystanders took pictures for their Facebook pages like it was entertainment. The tweets were going out into the Twitter community while the rape itself was going on. One must wonder how many adults saw those tweets and could have intervened in this situation. Many teachers, staff, and coaches have used text, Twitter, or their Facebook pages to communicate with their students. This is a heartbreaking story. Not only has it destroyed the victim’s life, but looking the other way by the coach and other adults involved destroyed these two boys’ lives. http://www.cnn.com/2013/03/17/justice/ohio-steubenville-case
There are several ways to look at social media. One way is to say this is an isolated case, and not likely to happen again. Another way is to say that it is the wave of the future. According to a recent article on MSN.com another social media trend is occurring. news.msn.com/pop-culture/students-bare-souls-and-more-on-facebook-confession-pages It is the confession page. This page is used by college students to confess to behaviors they otherwise would keep to themselves. The principals of anonymity and a place to share are the intent of most support groups. The face to face interaction makes the group focus on more uplifting positive comments about each other. When this confession is anonymous and takes place behind the computer the monitoring of one’s behavior becomes less important. Many times people will not say what they really want or mean because they are afraid of people’s reactions. Using the computer provides a way to hide while expressing thoughts and desires that normally would be frowned upon by society. It is only a matter of time before posts about bullying, rape, and other crimes begin to show up on the confession’s page. New law will be written to address these types of “confessions” from a legal perspective. The task for counselors will be to help the persons using these sites to express themselves without the need to be anonymous.
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