So I had no idea about anything about the little girl who committed suicide based on a practical joke that was played on her thru MySpace. I am serious when I say I do not watch TV. I don’t. Hate the thing except when it entertains my children while I am busy with something.
Megan Meier was 13. She presumably committed suicide after being dumped by a fictitious boyfriend who was actually the alleged creativity of 4 people, three of them being adults.
See, I don’t watch TV so I only get my news from the Fox News website. And I don’t check it every day b/c a lot of times they cover stories regarding child abuse cases. I can’t NOT click on those stories, so in order to keep my heart from bleeding straight out of my chest I try to avoid that site unless I am particularly strong that day. I clicked on it today and found a link to the Megan Meier story.
Well, since I know very little I don’t have much of a well-rounded or educated opinion. I believe what happened to that little girl is tragic. The 911 call from her mother, Tina, is heart-wrenching.
Anyway, one thing that an interviewer said struck me and stopped me cold. Her advice was to be careful what you write on the Internet because someone out there could be hanging on every word.
Hanging on every word.
Do people really get that addicted to what other people are saying? I know some great blogs that I read on a daily basis. I know some average blogs that I’ve read before. I know some really bad ones that I’ve seen as well. I usually don’t revisit the ones that don’t catch my interest.
The thing is, when a private blog or social networking type thing is started it usually isn’t the intention of the person starting it to gain an audience. But when an audience starts to form it can be fun. Most of the time it seems the blog is formed as a way to keep in touch with family and friends. Also, to document a life event. Frequently, to be used as an outlet of sorts (my blog is this sort of thing). Sometimes, as an informational gathering place for like-minded people.
But for a person to become so addicted to another person’s life or words seems ridiculous to me. Unless you are 13 or 14 or 15 or 16 or even 19.
I think as bloggers we have to consider who might stop by our site. I tried just today to get some questions going. I thought it would be a cool attempt at getting to know my audience. Seems incredible to me that between 50 and 100 hits a day happen here and I am selling nothing. But I have a life and I talk about it and, for some people who can relate to me, this has become something they like or can share or can realize they are not alone in whatever they are going/have gone through. So I wanted to fish for comments only so I can see who YOU all are.
It didn’t work… so far. And it’s almost 3:00 pm. Guess that won’t be as fun as I had hoped it would be.
Anyway. I have had young people here. I remember one time a young girl posted a comment. It was several weeks (maybe months) ago and I was overwhelmed at her age. It made me take a step back (figuratively) and be responsible for my words and my ways. She had read my blog. I urgently fished through my brain trying to recall anything I may have said that was not “for her young eyes”. Ugh! Thankfully I couldn’t think of anything.
Bloggers have a responsibility if they are public (like mine). People ARE reading what we write. Some might be younger than we think.
Be careful what you say — someone might be hanging on every word. Or someone might be adopting YOUR attitudes because they aren’t sure of their own yet. Or someone might do what you’ve done because you made it look like it was so cool and fun.
Be careful. Be responsible. Be real, but be careful.
PS: This is as much a reminder for me as it is for anyone else.