May 21st – And your point is ….

You Tube video – Look2wiceTV – Amanda Todd Bullying Tribute – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yTezC-1VNPQ

You Tube video – Matrice Music TV – https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=pFvoSHOvKmI#!

Article – http://www.thenownewspaper.com/life/Students+band+together+Surrey/8412413/story.html

Pew Internet Report – http://www.pewinternet.org/Reports/2013/Teens-Social-Media-And-Privacy.aspx

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Points can be sharp or they can be blunt.  I saw a Facebook conversation tonight about the interesting conversation starter ‘think before you speak’.  I remember the older people in my life always saying this.  The comment on Facebook was “Why don’t people think before they say or talk about certain things?  hmmmm….”  This of course sparked a whole conversation on the issue.  Me included.  My thoughts are that technology has promoted a ‘NO FILTER’ rule.  We spend so much time behind our computers and our mobile devices, that face to face contact may be limited.  But as adults, we often work outside our home so we do see people.   Our kids go to school but depending on their age, but sitting in classes and listening to their teaches is not the same as the face to face social contact that kids need in order to read facial and body cues.  So often, kids are behind ‘the screen’.  That’s how they socialize.  So when those kids and sometimes us as adults are saying things === it is without a filter.   Some of us don’t know how to say things, when not to say things, how saying things may hurt someones feelings.  Because when you say something behind your screen, you don’t see the emotion at the other end.  You might see the sad emoticon.  But you will never feel what the owner of the emoticon is feeling.  There is something to say about ‘vibes’.  Have you ever walked into a room and felt the ‘good vibes’ or the ‘bad vibes’.  That is all part of the human interaction that is needed in building a whole person.

I had a girlfriend contact me via Facebook today.  She wrote the following letter to our community papers right after Amanda died.  I might as well print her name because you will find it in the article. Sheri watched Amanda grow while I was pregnant.  I watched her grow also with her middle child.  Amanda and Sheri’s middle baby were 3 months apart.  We did the baby/toddler thing together.  There were also the bday parties.  The trip to the parks.  Swimming lessons.   Lemonade.  Popsicles.  The only thing was that Amanda was a girl in the midst of boys.  Amanda eventually got bored when she wanted the Barbies.  Here is the link to Sheri’s letter.  It made me cry when I read it for the first time.  Come to think of it, I only read it once because it did make me cry.  I am glad it is on the internet as it needs to be shared again and again.    http://www.mapleridgenews.com/opinion/letters/174491101.html

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It was one of Sheri’s son’s birthdays today.  She asked him what he wanted.  He said maybe a housecoat or some shorts.  Mom then asked “Is there not anything you REALLY WANT?? And he said he really wanted to make a donation to Amanda’s Memorial Fund. So I have done that on his behalf tonight.”  I have to say, her son is turned 20 today.  What a great pay it forward birthday present.  I know he might not take a hug from me but I told his mom to give him a huge one.   And this is what I have been saying all along …. ‘It’s about the KINDNESS that we give and how others can learn from it.’  Another form of KARMA that is good.  We raise our kids and only hope that what we teach and share with them will stick.  Good going Sheri, you raised great kids!!!

And then the downside of life … a research study came out today from the Canadian Medical Association Journal about the evidence of ‘suicide contagion’.  Of course that will be evident if the topic isn’t discussed.  There were some good recommendations put forward in that suicide needs to be talked about schoolwide if it has occurred.  Not just with the youth that were ‘the friends’.  I truly believe it becomes a school/community issue.  So closing the topic doesn’t help.  We all need to talk about our feelings.

But what about how ‘depression and suicide’ come about.  It’s about mental health.  Who is supposed to be supporting that?   Does bullying/cyberbullying sometime come into play?  Who treats the mental health that results in the suicide?  Community care is where it should start.   Emergency rooms are the last resort.  So are Adolescent Psych Units.  If there were more supports in the schools and community for treating mental health issues and youth, maybe the numbers would decrease.

Maybe it’s time to use social media to help bring more awareness and resources to the forefront!!

Leaving some articles for reading.  Some are of course redundant but it will show you how it was in the newsfeed today.

(Thanks to everyone for all their warm fuzzies to me.  Having coffee with the lovely lady who wrote and directed ‘The Bullying Games’ tomorrow.)

Hugz… xoxo from me 

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New research finds evidence of ‘suicide contagion’ among Canadian teens
CTV News
Teenagers who had a classmate die by suicide are significantly more likely to think about or attempt suicidethemselves over the following two years, according to a new study. The idea that being exposed to asuicide can spur suicidal thoughts or 
See all stories on this topic »
Preventing teen suicide key to workshop
nwitimes.com
For more information about “Youth Suicide — Prevention and Education” or the Family & Youth Services Bureau, call (219) 464-9585 or visit www.fysb.org. VALPARAISO | Social media plays a significant role in the incidence of teen suicide, a social 
See all stories on this topic »
Cyberbullying, Risky Sex Hike Teen Suicide Risk – MedPage Today
MedPage Today
Data from the federal Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS), involving more than 15,000 teens in the 13-17 age group, suggested that cyberbullying — denigration and threats communicated via Internet technology — was a greater contributor to suicidal 
See all stories on this topic »
Teen suicides can lead peers to consider taking their own lives, study finds
Calgary Herald
TORONTO – A new study says teens who had a schoolmate die by suicide are more likely to consider or attempt taking their own lives than those who haven’t lost a peer to suicide. Researchers say the effect known as “suicide contagion” can last for two 
See all stories on this topic »
Teen suicide may be contagious: Study
Sun News Network
OTTAWA — A new study from the University of Ottawa suggests suicide may be contagious among young people, especially when they hear stories of others killing themselves. “Suicide contagion — the idea that someone else’s suicide can influence your 
See all stories on this topic »
Student Suicide May Spur Similar Thoughts in Teens
Health.com
TUESDAY, May 21 (HealthDay News) — When a classmate commits suicideteens are more likely to consider or attempt suicide themselves, according to a new study. This “suicide contagion” occurs regardless of whether the teens knew the deceased 
See all stories on this topic »
Cyberbullying triples suicide risk in teens
Global Medical News Network
Published on May 21, 2013. The risk of teen suicide tripled after online bullying and doubled after off-line bullying compared with no bullying, an analysis of federal data on teen behaviors reveals. Dr. Kristi Kindrick discusses the study and its 
See all stories on this topic »
Teens affected by ‘suicide contagion,’ Canadian study finds – The Province
The Province
Teens whose schoolmates have died by suicide are more likely to consider or attempt suicide themselves, according to a new study. The research found the effect, known as suicide contagion, can last for two years or more and it affects not just close 
See all stories on this topic »
Teens Exposed to a Classmate’s Suicide Are at Higher Risk Themselves
Healthline
Teens who have had a classmate die by suicide—whether they were close friends or not—have an increased risk of contemplating or attempting suicide for up to two years after the event, according to new research published in the Canadian Medical 
See all stories on this topic 

About Carol Todd

Being the mother of Amanda Todd has lead me on this journey shortly after Amanda's death on October 10, 2012. Amanda's prolific You Tube video has been viewed over 33 million times. Through this video, there has been an increased awareness about cyberbullying, social media safety and mental health. www.amandatoddlegacy.org
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9 Responses to May 21st – And your point is ….

  1. Sue Hindle says:

    That is such a wonderful idea that Sheri’s son had.. I love your quote Carol… ” It ‘s about t he kindness that we give and what other’s can learn from it “

    Like

  2. Hamsi says:

    It makes happy me happy to think there are thoughtful, caring boys like your friend Sheri’s son. There is hope for this world so long as the majority of today’s youth are like him rather than the bad apples who get so much attention!

    Like

  3. namedallas says:

    I agree that with out facial expressions and tone of vioce comunication can be hard to understand ,like Merle I always wonder if I am being misunderstood or am i not understanding something myself.Yea I think it is best if communicating was done in person.
    I am glad you brought that up Carol.

    Like

  4. merle48 says:

    About vibes…I’m really in tune to vibes from others, however, with the internet it is harder to feel the vibes given off from the usual facial expressions, sounds, bodily movements and stances. Words can be taken so many different ways…it’s happened to me on here, where what I said was taken out of context, and it wasn’t anything terrible, but I didn’t like the way it sounded and how a reader might have interpreted it, so I had to explain what I really meant. I am starting to adjust to the “virtual vibes” on the internet, although they many times get interpreted the wrong way. An example is when I chatter back and forth with messages, I can actually absorb the feeling from someone else that it’s enough already!
    I do notice that when a person doesn’t respond right back, my mind starts to wonder if I said the wrong thing and that is a worry, when maybe they fell asleep, or are talking to others at the same time, or their out somewhere sending messages and they suddenly attend to what they ventured out for in the first place. It’s a new way of picking up and giving vibes with the internet but I’m never too old to learn! Social graces are lacking so much because of the so-called technological advances. My teen daughter gave me her opinion the other day about how her friends do not know how to let go of their technological toys when they go out somewhere that doesn’t even require any, and they get panicky! She’s been leaving her I phone in the car when she visits friends now as she sees the hinderance to human interactions. You should have been in my part of the world when we lost power from Hurricane Sandy for over a week…people walked around like
    Zombies, and not because of their physical losses which weren’t quite as bad as down the shore…but because there was no electricity, no heat, and when night came at 5pm, the day was literally over for many. I learned many lessons from this, but most of all “my point is” that kids need human interaction MORE than anything else, whether in school,the playground, or especially at home…technology gives too much “unreality” to these children’s lives which contributes to mental disturbances. That’s my point!

    Like

    • Tristan says:

      I so know what you mean merle, it is such a different world that our teens are living today; then from what it was just even 10 to 15 years ago in terms of commuication and interaction with one another. I feel their has been much improvments with technology and a lot has been gained, but i feel their has been a lot lost just the same. Very much like you were saying , kids go bonkers if they can’t check up on their messages after so much time. And not only kids but us as adults do as well. I remember the days of being a young early teen and spending 3 to 4 hours at night just talking on the phone with friends. With all this messaging and texting in todays world, i wonder if kids still do that? I also agree with everything that you are saying about the virtual vibes through messaging and how easily they can be misinterpeted. I find it interesting how our eyes have become accustomed to how we view and feel when reading messages when they are in lowercase or uppercase form. I was chatting with someone and i had asked the question, wondering what their plans were and simply asked “what are you doing?” , but hadnt realized i hit the caps lock button and came out “WHAT ARE YOU DOING??” which in effect made it look more like a direct serious question and not the way i had intended it to come out. Also about the point you make about how you feel when you dont get a response in a while, i feel the same way, almost like i had said something wrong, not knowing what the person is thinking, and then leaves my mind to waunder. always nice to get a reply even if its just a word.

      Like

      • merle48 says:

        Tristan that is so funny about the “caps.” You are the person I was talking about where what I wrote didn’t come out right, I think it was about paragraphs versus lines…..but I did correct myself, because I’m not that type!

        Like

      • Tristan says:

        LoL @ merle ,., yes i figured it was me, i remeber that. I think it was one of them early mornings , (barely awake) and i tried to make a joke and redirect it towards myself like i usually do, but again ,didnt come out the way i meant for it to.. But yeah perfect example of what were talking about.

        Like

  5. Great post Carol. Thank you for being an inspiration to so many.

    Like

  6. la Punisher says:

    I totally agree, We do need more support for youth mental health and suicide, But we will never get that unless people stand together and make a loud voice and demand, demand demand from all levels of Gov’t
    That was a very nice letter from your friend Sheri… kudos to her
    Hugz 2U

    Like

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