Two months ago, I wrote a post about the people in my social network who use Formspring.me (a site that lets anyone ask you a question and then posts your answer publicly). I implied these people were egomaniacs, but in the grand scheme of things, so what if someone thinks they're so fascinating that folks are dying to ask them questions. Having an overly confident opinion of yourself might be a turn-off, but a big ego is generally harmless. Today, however, I read a disturbing article about how teens have now latched onto Formspring.me and are using it to up the bully factor on the web.
Think back to when you were eight, twelve, sixteen. Were there things about yourself that you were self-conscious about? Your nose? Your height? Your body shape? Your clothes? Now, imagine giving all your schoolmates an open forum to call you out on all that--even anonymously.
- How come you wear that stupid shirt so much?
- Why are you such a loser?
- Are you going to get a nose job anytime soon?
- Do you know what a skank you are?
- When are you going to wash your gym clothes?
All I have to say is I am so grateful not to be growing up in this day and age. Being a child was hard enough on its own.
If these sites had been around when you were a kid, would your childhood have been any different? Would you be the same person you are today? Might you be less confident or have more hang-ups? I can't help but to think this generation of kids could be spending a whole lot of money on therapists when they grow older...