Troller in Chief Setting an Example for the Kids:
The president continues to use Twitter as a means of psychological warfare. His goal is to break the spirit of the American people by using social media like a schoolyard bully. He hides like a coward behind cyberspace, and now the secret service, and the armed forces to demean people domestically, and abroad to break the human spirit of his “enemies”. His most damaging tweets coming in the form of calling the media “Fake News” whenever it produces something he doesn’t like. This has been devastating to our social narrative. To further show how destructive this behavior is from the Oval Office is to see how children in our schools have become imitators of the Trolling President.
A sixth grade class of students has created what is known to be “finster” or “finstagram” accounts on Instagram which is eerily similar to the white supremacists, and Russian operatives currently working on Facebook and Twitter. Now, this is something that has been developing for a while and not limited to one school or another. These accounts are called “finster” as a play on the words “fake” and “Instagram” and post pictures of others unbeknownst to the victims; overall, pictures are posted with captions mocking the subject(s) in the picture. Many of the posts talk about other 12 year-old kids, and refer to things such as, rape, erections, genitalia, mocking of appearances, or pictures of a kid picking his or her nose that was taken without consent. The phone has moved beyond the intended use, and instead has become a weapon of mockery. Thanks to social media, and parents’ unwillingness to be disliked by their child for limiting its use, a virtual Lord of the Flies is now occurring daily and it is a 24 hour, seven day a week onslaught of abuse. Our youth are living on a virtual, unsupervised island, and are emotionally and mentally ill equipped to process, or exist in this forum. There is such an obsession of being “famous” that kids are plugged in all of the time. Many of the subjects of this mockery are actually saying they are okay with this and “liking” the pictures of themselves on Instagram and Snapchat. The only explanation for this phenomenon is either Stockholm syndrome or a fear of being teased for being weak. “It is just a joke,” or “kids are being kids,” isn’t an answer when some children go home and kill themselves. If you think bullying is just a political talking point then look no further than here: https://nobullying.com/bullying-suicide-statistics/
Famous actors, athletes and public figures deal with the media and paparazzi on a daily basis; however, they know that this is the price of fame and notoriety. Moreover, these people don’t deal with the constant attention very well either, but for the most part they can put up with this. In stark contrast, a middle-school child doesn’t sign up for unwanted press coverage. An epidemic of children committing suicide at a young age has broken out due to the fish bowl of social media. Young kids, collecting video, creating fake accounts on the internet that target one another is the gasoline on the fire of low self-esteem and natural insecurities of a middle school child. The fault lies at the feet of the adults who refuse to step in and stop this from happening in our children’s lives. Parents are living under the rock of ‘ignorance is bliss’ until someone commits suicide, or shoots up a school due to this new trolling forum and form of cyber-bullying.
These fake accounts are not limited to the younger grades either, some high school students have created ‘Finster accounts’ to rip coaches, teachers and community members as well. What exactly are we teaching our children when they don’t engage in conversations with the adults who they are disagreeing with? Ironically, communication has devolved at the hand of the most powerful tools of communication: the phone and the Internet. Does, anyone see the problem with this shift in social interaction?
In regards, to the anonymity of these Finster accounts, it mirrors the psychological warfare of division among the extremists groups in America. Whether Russian induced or not, the natural instinct of preying upon “the weak” has fueled this frenzy of smashing the self esteem of others deemed, “unpopular”. If a tree falls in the forest it does make a sound, but our children shouldn’t be the trees falling with no one there to catch them or witness the fall. This is something that we can fix, but refuse to tackle because the school system is either incompetent, or handcuffed by attorneys. Furthermore, the communities in America need to look themselves in the mirror and acknowledge that our number one priority as a parent is to raise our children, and not put us before their needs. This doesn’t mean giving them everything they want, because children should dislike the word “no” yet when they grow into adults that are confident, kind and competent, that simple word will have saved them from a lifetime of pain, and bad decisions. A child doesn’t ask to be born; it is the consenting adults that make this choice for them. It is only right that the adults take the responsibility to do right by their children. This is an epidemic that can be avoided because the answer literally sits in the palm of our hands.