Life is not a computer game;
there is no 2nd level,
there are no extra lives
You’ve lost your reality.
My seventeen year old daughter saw these words on a banner at Dawson College when she was there the other night with many other mourners. It is a response to the words on the blog of the gunman who opened fire on students last week in the atrium of the college, killing one beautiful eighteen year old young woman. This past week has been a reality check for many of our youth here in Montréal. The local media coverage has covered the incident from many angles, but one cannot get away from the role of digital technology in this event.
Digital technology, like anything, in and of itself is neither good nor evil - that is decided by who is using it. Many are quick to point out the kind of angry and destructive venting that was posted on the killer’s blog and the fact that he was preoccupied with violent video games of school shootings.
I observed how very easily students were able to access information about the shootings on that afternoon - even though many of the “facts” circulated by the media were found not to be true later.
On the other hand, because of text messages and cell phones, we were able to locate loved ones very quickly (in some cases, though, the cell phone system was jammed) and get the news out that they were safe.
And now, I hope, we are more vigilant with our sons and daughters and how they use social computing technologies.
Vicki Davis has posted a marvelous guide - 11 Steps to Online Parental Supervision. Please read it. Please pass it on to as many parents as will read it. I will be showing it to my students as well.
Anastasia DeSouza - 1988-2006
If you care, you can sign her legacy guest book.