I met some nice people in blogoland yesterday, one of whom is a young man who had some things to say about cyber bullying that got me thinking about what a different world we live in than the one I experienced as a young teenager in the seventies. Different not in good ways like ipods and Hybrid Toyotas have made things different, but in the new and inventive ways that young people find to be mean spirited and cruel to each other.
Of course teenagers and pre-teens throughout all generations have possessed that very special gift for heinous emotional destructiveness toward their fellow kind. But there's an extra special degree of heartless shittiness displayed by younger generations that I seem to remember as being more tempered when I was a youngster, even one on the receiving end of an atomic wedgie.
Internet technology alone has elevated adolescent cruelty to new and exciting heights, which is only just and fitting and certainly in itself nothing new. The Inquisition employed state of the art technological innovations in the middle ages for the creative application of pain. Now, in addition to the traditional avenues of assholery like school halls, bathrooms, playgrounds, locker rooms and, for that extra-added dose of humiliation, right before the eyes of a particular infatuation de-jour, teenage bullies can now casually seek to publicly destroy the lives of their targets with a laptop paid for by mom and dad. And as a bonus, it's easier on the heartless little fuckers' tender conscience when they can't hear the lonely weeping over the distance of cyberspace.
Is bullying really that much worse than it was when I was a kid? Unfortunately I honestly believe that it is. Why, then? Is it because younger generations have been more indulged? Ignored? Feel more entitled? Spend too many hours in front of a tv either being spoon fed psychotic crap or playing endless hours of worthless Grand Theft fucking Auto with clueless parents saying, "it's only a game." Have they been deliberately taught not to care about other people because all that matters is what you can get for yourself, how you look, what you wear, what you have? Is this the natural evolution of the entitled, me, me attitudes cultivated by the boomer generation and passed on down the line? I suspect all of the above has something to do with it. I should probably check with Oprah on this.
When I think of this stuff I get angry and frustrated because I know it exists and there's really nothing I can do about it aside from trying be a responsible parent and not raise a child who thinks it's okay to casually hurt people. My daughter is just turning five years old and it scares the hell out of me to think of the kind of evil crap she'll have to face by the time she's in high school.
End of rant.