Cyber-Bullying, Sexting, and the TXT Generation

Technology scares the shit out of me.

I understand the irony of that statement given the fact that you’re reading this on some form of the aforementioned technology. You may be reading this on your tablet, smart phone, or inter-cranial hologram projector (I’m trying to stay relevant for future generations).

“So, why the trepidation, MC?”

Glad you asked.

My buddy Thaddeus Setla (@setla) is a gifted film-maker, videographer, editor, and director. He recently hit me up to tell me about his upcoming short film project, the TXT Generation. The film is about cyber-bullying, sexting, and family dynamics. It surrounds a father forced into his worst nightmare after his 11-year-old daughter is subjected to the unthinkable and he must confront the boy who has just changed her innocence.

For those of you unaware, all three MClets are Y-chromosome deficient. (That means they’re girls for you beat cops.) After talking to Ted about this project, I hit up the project FB page and their Seed&Spark page (wherein you can help support the project). This is the video I saw:

Raising the TXT Generation from Ben Hess / Bay Area Pictures on Vimeo.

These kinds of things are happening more and more in our schools and both the victims and perpetrators are getting younger and younger. It’s a topic not many of us want to consider or talk about, but as a dad, I know the importance of making my girls safe.

Think about this: How would you react if your child was the victim of cyber-bullying? Hell, just Google “Cyber-bullying” and look at the stats. What about sexting? How would you feel if a 15-year-old boy sent your 12-year-old daughter a picture of himself nude?  My initial reaction brings about visions of prison time.

Innocence is lost soon enough. Let’s work together to educate and protect our children. Technology isn’t going anywhere, my friends. We would do well to raise our children appropriately and talk with them about these issues…as uncomfortable as it may be for us.

Because talking about them after they’ve already occurred is monumentally more traumatic.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic. Snark is encouraged. Being a prat is not.

4 thoughts on “Cyber-Bullying, Sexting, and the TXT Generation

  1. I wonder why parents even let their kids on there. The boys want me to set up a YouTube channel for them. Forget it! You’re too young and not mature enough. I don’t care what your friends are allowed to do. The answer is no. Of course we have to be ok with saying no to kids. Does anyone do that anymore or is the word considered to be necessary and evil? As if using it makes you a bad parent.

  2. Rule #1: If you wouldn’t show it to grandma, don’t take the picture. Rule #2: Never put anything online unless you want the world to have free-range access to it for all eternity. Rule #3: Nothing stays confidential online no matter what someone might tell you. It WILL eventually reach the wrong hands.

  3. So glad you are talking about this with your kids as well as your readers. This is a topic that is near and dear to my heart. As I travel the country speaking to students, parents, and businesses about responsible use of technology, the one refrain I hear the most is: “Why not just unplug these little brats for their protection?” Well, maybe they don’t say “brats”, but the sentiment is in their tone.
    The analogy I answer with is this: It would be less stressful for me if I never have to teach my daughters how to drive. Because, we ALL know how many idiots are on the roadway. However, if they can’t drive, it will pretty much handicap them for the rest of their life. So, I teach them to drive safely and I pray for them!
    Our generation has tossed the keys to the Internet to our kids without teaching them how to responsibly use it. It’s not time to unplug them. It’s time for some driving lessons!
    Blessings to you, MC, for doing your part to provide these lessons!

  4. It doesn’t matter how much you try to protect your children from technology, the moment they enter school, they are exposed. We had always limited our children, never bought video game systems, ipads, didn’t let them use our computers, the best they got was being able to use the dvd player. However, in second grade my son asked me about a video with a naked woman masturbating (not his words.) Well, it turns out that some other kid whose parents had given him his own cell phone had shown this video to my son and a couple of other boys on the playground before school. Talk about a loss of innocence. My son wasn’t quite seven yet. He is now in fourth grade and now the kids are passing around the passwords to different porn sites. So even though we limit access and the one computer they are allowed to use is in a place in our home with a lot of foot traffic, we are still being subjected to what other parents do with their children. I have password protected our computers so they cannot access them without our knowing about it. But I am afraid that the curiosity about what these other kids are talking about will make them want to check it out themselves. It is infuriating and makes me want to choke the shit out of these crappy parents who can’t be bothered to parent, but allow technology to do the parenting for them. I don’t know what the answer is, but I certainly hope I find it soon.

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