Teens and preteens doing rash and harmful things

Teen could face jail for tweeting names of her assailants
Mashable, July 12, 2012: http://mashable.com/2012/07/23/kentucky-teen-twitter-sexual-assaul/

Hook county girls arrested for creating Facebook page
Star-Telegram: July 19, 2012: http://www.star-telegram.com/2012/07/19/4110915/granbury-girls-arrested-for-creating.html

Diablo 3 Death: Teen dies after playing game for 40 hours straight
Huffington Post, July 18, 2012: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/07/18/diablo-3-death-chuang-taiwan-_n_1683036.html

Three articles with much in common: teens and preteens doing rash and harmful things, all of which are worsened by their media involvement.

In the first, a girl goes to a party and gets drunk. She is sexually assaulted by two boys, who take pictures of her, and the pics go viral. When charges are brought against the boys and punishment is rendered by the judicial system, the girl thinks the punishments are too light. She suffers terribly for what happens, and so goes vigilante on the boys, tweeting many about their identities. In short, twice the social media enter the scene and worsen the havoc: pics going viral and their identities going viral.

In the second, two girls are being nasty to another girl. Only instead of spreading rumors and smearing her in private and with friends in the cafeteria or the school hall, they create a false Facebook page, presenting themselves as the girl they dislike to friends and peers and saying nasty things to others who think the culprit is the innocent girl. The girl is badly smeared in this social media-driven way. When the two ‘bad” girls are caught, they seem surprised.

In the third, a boy in Taiwan holds up in an internet cafe and plays a violent video game for 40 hours straight. He falls asleep. When he is awakened, he stands up and drops dead. He has created a blood clot in his leg through sitting stationary for 40 hours, mesmerized by the game.

Somewhat similar problems: kids being impulsive and hurtful, lacking good judgement and showing little common sense. The media has become an accomplice, a magnifier of their not unusual teen tendencies. Not enough parental input and too much screen time and technical obsession in all three cases.

Three very troubling cases, I must say. They are becoming more and more common, too, with the rapid infiltration of the media into so many corners of our lives.