Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Technology is not to blame

Over on Lemondrop there is a story about a girl who hanged herself after nude pictures of her were texted around school and other girls started bullying her. The blame fell on the text message, but Lemondrop accurately points out that the blame should fall on the bullies.

There is nothing new here. Technology may have exacerbated the problem but it didn't create it. Teens bullying one another is as old as time. Girls calling other girls whore or slut because of their supposed promiscuity certainly didn't start when nude pictures started flying around the internet. It may have taken a little more effort, but a copy machine and an instamatic served the same purpose once upon a time.

The media are to quick to blame technology--whether it be texting or video games or social networking sites--for the problems of teenagers, when in fact the problems are not new at all. Technology may provide a new outlet for teen angst or fuel for the teen fire, but it is not the underlying cause. Bullying, puberty, family and peer pressure are and always will be the underlying problems teens have to navigate. And by wailing and moaning and blaming technology you distract people from the root causes of al these problems, and they are no closer to getting fixed.

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