Day 6: April 10, 2008
Dr. Stern has a cold today. Actually, she had the rumblings of a cold on Tuesday, but today it's out in full force, terrorizing her immune system with a brash and maniacal cackle. I hope she feels better soon.
Today we're watching a Frontline video on self expression, called "Trying On New Identities." Parts of this program really show what the Internet has done to adolescent girls. I say "done" as in it's the Internet's fault, but maybe it's more accurate to say it's what adolescent girls have done to themselves. I know it's sad, - at least it's sad to me -, but some of these girls enjoy the attention they get. One point I never saw brought up in the video of a girl who posts pictures of herself online for the attention, is who was taking the pictures? Just never talked about... Hmm.
An interesting concept is the idea of shying away from your parents because they're, well... your parents, and chatting to all those people online who are willing to listen or... take advantage.
More of the program describes online bullying and its effects on some children who use the Internet. I think this just shows how sad a place the world can be.. Some quite harrowing examples, including one parent who had to deal with his son who hanged himself because of encouragement from the Internet. It's so easy to say things online and not even think about the consequences. Conversely, I suppose, it's so easy to say things online and watch the consequences with glee. Evil, evil people..
Some eating disorders are mentioned, though I'm not sure this was as significant a point as the previous bullying/predator examples. Eating disorders, for one thing, were a big problem before the Internet. Sure the Internet can exacerbate these things, but still, I think this could have been a separate program dedicated to eating disorders, online and offline related.
Well, Dr. Stern really can't talk. She sounds like Haley Joel Osment saying, "I see dead people," in The Sixth Sense. But a discussion has been provoked! I always appreciate a professor who tries to keep it going even when she's not at the top of her game. But, seriously, get some rest and feel better!