By now, you’ve heard theÂ news of the Rutgers freshman and violinist who committed suicide after his roommate secretly filmed him during a sexual encounter in his dorm room and posted it on the Web. It’s a tragedy, and it’s sparked a lot of debate about a “new dangerous era wrought by the Internet.” It’s easy to blame technology or point to it as an enabler, and so many have.Â But that’s lazy thinking and, unfortunately, a self-fulfilling prophecy in public discourse.
But this incident had nothing to do with technology and everything to do with hatred, disrespect, indecency and tolerance ofÂ bullying. ItÂ involved a real or perceived imbalance of power with the more powerful individuals abusing those less powerful. It can happen to any individual or group, and in any venue — home, school, work, church, police department, hospital or even online. Bullying has been around forever, and we probably could use moreÂ laws and protections against it. But technology? Technology is one possible instrument that a bully may use when carrying out acts of aggression; it can influence the severity of the act. Similar to vehicular homicide, the problem is the person and the act, not the invention of cars.
As a dad, I think about how my two kids (now toddlers) will deal with bullying as they grow up. Most parents think about this a lot, and have to deal with it with their kids in some way. That’s why we covered the topic extensively in our latest podcast episode of theÂ Cast of Dads. (As always, we covered many other parenting topics as well.)
You can listen by clicking here.
If you like the Cast of Dads, tell your friends and subscribe via iTunes.Â Cast of Dads is a group of podcasting and blogging dads who gather to gab aboutÂ fatherhood. The cast of dads includes C.C. Chapman, Jeffrey Sass, Max Kalehoff, Michael Sheehan, and Brad Powell, who collectively represent 13 kids from the youngest of babies to full grown adults. Each of them brings a unique perspective to being a father.
(Photo credit: andi.vs.zf)