Third - for god sakes you can't blame everything on other things.. Turn around look at the parents and ask.. maybe if they would of simply talked to their child when she was looking down and say "hey, i noticed you've been down for a little wanna talk about it?"
I don't think it's as bad as he makes it out to be, but I do agree that electronic communication (especially completely text-based) is a crappy substitute for real, face-to-face communication. It can be really hard to understand what people are really saying when you can't read their body language, facial expressions, and especially when you can't hear their tone of voice. I've gotten into so many text arguments that probably would've never happened if I had just been talking to them. Don't get me wrong, text-based messaging can be useful and fun, but it should NEVER replace real-life interaction.
I think it's a double-edged sword. If used properly, it can be a good way to keep up with friends. If used as your sole relationship portal, you're going to be sorely lacking in life because we DO need face-to-face interactions. Many companies are encouraging people to walk to someone's desk to discuss something vs using email to strengthen working relationships because we need real live interactions. We were just designed that way
Once again the tool is blamed instead of how it is used. The shortsightedness is truly breathtaking to behold. For crying out loud, water is fatal if used improperly! This is like saying that water leads to drowning. Trouble is these kids either don't bother to understand how to appropriately use these resources or the parents aren't concerned enough about it to get involved.
While I agree that you cannot blame everything that goes wrong with technology such as suicides in regards to Everquest, Myspace, Facebook etc. And good parenting will circumvent certain things.
However, social sites and texting is damaging to the younger generations, the bishop is correct in saying that these sites and texting is damaging to people in regards to social interaction. I see teenagers all the time when I go to malls or restaraunts, and they will stand together and NOT TALK, but text each other while they are 3 feet away from each other.
Anyone cannot see anything wrong with that has issues and needs to have their head examined. How are these people going to be able to maintain a real relationship such as marriage or life long friendships if they cant communicate on the most basic of levels, i.e. verbal face to face communication?
Ive been married for 10 years and I guarantee you I wouldnt be if my wife and I texted, emailed or blogged all of our correspondance to each other.
Social networking sites may not have been the direct cause to suicides, but it'd be a stretch not to see them as a contributing factor. I hate to go to extremes, but to play devil's advocate a little, I would genuinely like to see individuals under 18 completely cut off from Social Networking sites and MMORPGs.
As a parent, I wouldn't want my daughter anywhere near these sites. For one, its dangerous for the kids to be interacting with adults in this manner (its like a fucking pedofile's dream come true), and at the very least they'll be influenced in negative ways (a 20 year old's sexuality conversations should not be subjected to 14 year olds pretending to be 19). So, there's that mess.
Remove the adults, and the situation still sucks. You basically have given a very socially insecure group in a situation where they are stretched across multiple networking sites, and interacting with far too many people. The butter sets spread pretty damn thin. It discourages human interaction, damages social skills (in the same way Warcraft does), and gives easy methods for bullying... in ways that a young person would be ill equipped to handle emotionally.
-Not to mention it makes them freaking fat and lazy. Play OUTSIDE damnit!
My uncle asked me to help him set his daughters up on Myspace, and instead I set him up with OpenDNS and blocked Myspace on the freaking DNS level, so his daughters couldn't go there outside of a miracle.
It seems like a blatantly obvious problem. Pass some legislation that makes these sites 18+. Make it child abuse to let your 12 year old daughter on Myspace, and yahoo chat. I want to keep the internet as open and free as possible, but seriously, get the damn kids out of places where they shouldn't be. Do it before we raise a generation of retards incapable of supporting my social security.
I think it says more about the girl than the social networks...She obviously had some real psychological issues...The "torment" she went through is not much different than kids teasing each other in highschool. Kids are viscious, grow a backbone, and overcome adversity instead of having a temper tantrum.
So encourage children who have access to technology not to use it, then they'll wind up hopelessly out of touch with their peers and behind the eightball, furthering their isolation later in life. I'm assuming that to be a Bishop, he's probably an old-timer, and more likely than not, just doesn't 'get it'. In the future, say in 10-20 years when his generation is DEAD, everybody will communicate using such 'new-fangled' methods. It will become the new norm. Fuck me, I'll bet his parents bitched about the telephone, TV, and microwave ovens. And his grandparent probably thought that the telegraph and the steam engine were making youth to distract-able and less grounded. Technology changes, people change, everything changes, that's how existence works - either get over it, get a hold of it, or swim futilely against the tide.
BTW, I thought it was heavy metal (80's), oh wait, video games (90's) to blame for teen suicide? Oh, it was social networks all along... but how have they been doing their nefarious work decades before they were created? People who are inclined to kill themselves will find a myriad of reasons for doing it, be it a breakup, a public embarrassment, insurmountable bills, pride, boredom, chronic pain, obesity, indigestion, etc - the next disaster is just around the corner, every corner. Shitballs, what are you going to do, put everybody in a nerf world?
PS - And why didn't the omnipotent magic man in the sky prevent this from happening in the first place?
Parents NEED to maintain control of the online presence of their younger kids. If they don't feel quilified or able to do that then they're best bet is to chuck the PC out the window and tell the kid to go outside or you'll "find them something to do".
I was pretty militant about limiting our oldest's boy's online freedom until he hit 16 or so... then I scaled back until now he has full access (he's 18). Our 14 year old still has limited access and we monitor the only social site he's on (facebook).
It's really about due diligence... I wouldn't think I was being a decent parent if I let my kids run unsupervised in Real Life... and Virtual life is no different.