The internet is not a scapegoat

I feel for the parents of any child who has downloaded instructions on how to kill themselves from the internet, any child who has ended up a victim after meeting a preditor from an online chat room but most of all I feel for the kids themselves who are obviously left to fend for themselves and don’t always know how.

The parents of one of two teenage girls who died in a joint suicide pact say they are “sickened” their daughter was able to download step-by-step instructions to kill herself from the internet.

Did their daughters watch movies like “Dead Poets’ Society”, “Girl Interrupted” or any teenage angst movie? A lot of them include some story of some troubled teen killing themselves or attempting to do so.

I don’t think it’s right that the information is out there for all and sundry and I’m not defending the actions of the girls… but the internet is what it is and I wouldn’t want to see it changed or censored in anyway.

The girls were keen internet users and had posted a number of dark messages on their websites in the months leading to their deaths, including several clear references to suicide.

Jodie’s parents Rob and Jennifer Gater told the Nine Network they explored their daughter’s online world looking for answers after her death.

I think you have the answer to your problem right there! The information was right in front of the parents for MONTHS. The parents only became interested in what their children were doing online AFTER something happened to them.

Had the parents been monitoring their childrens activity, either set of parents, this tragedy may have been avoided.

I’m annoyed that the parents are looking for someone or something to blame for their tragedy, anyone, anything… but themselves.

I’m not suggesting that they ARE to blame for the actual act of suicide that their daughters undertook… but maybe, just maybe they could have altered the situation with just a little parental supervision.

Please parents, insist on an open dialogue with your children. Be interested in their lives and loves, don’t put them down for anything and don’t expect anything from them. Let them be themselves and be there for them when they need you to be.

Nothing in life is more important their happiness… make sure you’re child knows that.

See “Suicide girls got ‘instructions’ online” from theage.com.au to read the story that prompted this post.

2 Replies to “The internet is not a scapegoat”

  1. I have a “friend” with a teenage son who has adopted this “emo” crap. He wears black, constantly looks miserable and has cut his wrists. His school friends are all “normal” looking teenagers. She asked my advice and I said either cut off internet or monitor what he is doing on the internet. She has done neither!!!

    I think that if there are sites encouraging self harm/suicide then they should be shut down but that’s a very difficult thing to control.

  2. But you have to consider a couple of things… 1. You have told her what she needs to do and as far as you know she has chosen not to. 2. As I said above examples of this type of behaviour are available all over the place. The sites they refer to may well be a work of fiction or art by another human who uses it to vent their own frustrations. There is no reason to take that away from someone by shutting it down.

    You need to have a dialogue with your kids from the day dot. Consider that our own Mum has always been approachable and never treated us badly for anything we did or wanted to do. And because of that she was always open with us I certainly had no issue telling her anything I needed to (well except for that one thing that all boys of my kind worry about).

    I see it with you too and the way you talk with Alek, you’re a great mum… no mum will be able to stop their kids from doing something they want to do, but I’m just saying they shouldn’t be crying foul and trying to blame something that is really unblamable.

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