I have been meaning to write about this, but just have not had the chance. As I was running on the treadmill on Monday, I saw a talk show discussing Monica Lewinsky’s TED Talk. Unfortunately, I had no headphones that day so I could not hear what it was all about. When I got home, I quickly Googled it, as I was so curious about what she had to say – especially on TED.
Her talk is titled “The Price of Shame”. Here is the link: https://www.ted.com/talks/monica_lewinsky_the_price_of_shame#t-1328288
She uses the scanda,l that she was affiliated with in 1998 with former President Bill Clinton, to discuss the “Culture of Humiliaton” by way of the Digital Revolution. During the late 90s, traditional news changed, you could access anything you wanted instantaneously. Over the course of the years, we have become desensitized to public humiliation. With the growth of gossip websites, news and reality tv, humiliation and shame has become an industry. She states, “…the more clicks, the more advertising dollars…” She argues that in order to end cyber bullying and online harrassment we need to have a “cultural revolution” and “shaming as a blood sport has to stop”. She concludes that the only way to do this is to use “our right and responsbility of Freedom of Expression” to show “empathy online and communicate with compassion”.
I thought this was such a great topic and good for her for turning around an awful event to teach others how to counteract a new epidemic. Her talk resonated with me because I have growing concerns as a parent and teacher to be regarding media literacy. I still treat my computer like it is an encyclopedia set. I really only use it for word processing and doing work for school. I have never been one to thrive on other peoples business, or get off on reality shows, I have very little tolerance for that kind of stuff. Joining Facebook for this class was a big step for me personally because I am very much concerned about privacy. I feel guilt all the time when I don’t answer to someones “friend” request. And I would hate to think what it might do to someone who was quite young who didn’t really have the mentality to understand why I didn’t respond.
Although the beginning of my isearch was more about social and emotional learning, I have realized that social media is such a big part of social learning as well. How do you teach kids that talking face to face opposed to texting is much more meaningful? How do you prevent them from getting a kick out of someone’s wrong-doing. How do we teach them the boundaries of privacy? Lewinsky makes a great point about people not being “mentally equipped to handle public shaming” and to such a large degree. Everything is so instant these days and we need to teach children and youth that whatever you say or do online can be available to anyone anytime anywhere, even if you think it has been deleted!