I know that the issue of kids being bullied while using Last.fm — six teens have committed suicide, [reportedly] after being bullied on the site — is not new news., but it’s relatively new to me. I’m no Luddite, but frankly, and, I think as many technologically savvy adults of a certain age believe, there are just so many new social-media sites launching these days that it’s tough to keep up. And, after you find a few that work for you, who needs to know about every new site that gets launched (remember, I’m talking about “average” adults, not kids, not the tech community)?
But…and here’s where I come back to one of my regular themes, while we need not be responsible for knowing all about every site out there, we — and here I’ll include kids, the technorati and the Luddites too — need to be responsible for each other: responsible for letting kids know that we give a damn (kids, let each other know too!), for keeping in the know about what kids are doing (parents, grandparents, teachers, everyone who has that kind of relationship!), be aware of when kids are out of sorts/upset, etc. Treat everyone else the way you’d want to be treated — be kind, respectful, aware (self-aware too), and compassionate! It’s not new, it’s not magic, but it is tried and true. We all matter, dammit, and we all can make a difference.
And, with that in mind, here’s a powerful and touching message from one teen/young adult who’s been bullied to others: