We touched on this a couple of weeks ago, daring to question the wisdom of computer visionary Steve Jobs when he said children would use the Internet in a more innocent, benevolent manner than adults.
While there are now thousands of examples of the naivete of his statement, granted in 1981 Jobs’ main goal was to sell Apple products, here is one of the latest examples of Internet tools being misused (and excused) by a child and with deadly results.
18-year-old Obdulia Sanchez was shooting live video with her cell phone while driving near Merced, California. She was rolling when the car went off the road and flipped, killing her teenage sister. She kept shooting video after her sister died. Sanchez faces charges of DUI and vehicular manslaughter.
Meanwhile, a closed Facebook group called “Free Obdulia Sanchez!” popped up with more than 6,000 members. It had previously been a group to discuss LGBT issues, and the name changed after the crash and live video came to light.
— Sacramento Bee, 7/25/17
There are other instances of narcissism-driven livestreams by young people run amok, justified by racebaiters simply because the perpetrators were black and the hate was directed at then-President-elect Donald Trump.
Adults even livestreamed at times and places considered quite inappropriate because it was all about them.
What we have is a convergence of bad parenting (and other adults) where children, regardless of their level of responsibility, are getting whatever they want and being allowed to do whatever they want with it, no matter how reckless they behave and are selectively excused.
Obdulia Sanchez is a child who made an error in judgement. She is being made a scapegoat for an incident that took the life of her 14-year-old sister, but it is not Obdulia’s fault. She should not be held responsible for this terrible tragedy, which says more about our society and what is deemed acceptable. We need to look at society and see where we went wrong, and how we can prevent this from happening in the future, but there is NO REASON why Obdulia should bear the brunt of the consequences.
— “Free Obdulia Sanchez!” Facebook page
We have a culture that rewards narcissism and an industry that feeds into the notion that everyone wants to see YOU, what YOU are doing while YOU are doing it and that industry has deliberately targeted young people who don’t buy the smartphones and pay for the service.
A 14-year-old survivor of a deadly car crash in California that was livestreamed on Instagram said she isn’t mad at anyone and doesn’t blame the driver. Instead, Manuela Seja blamed social media, which she said has taken over people’s lives and is only going to become more prevalent, television station KSEE in Fresno reported Monday.
— Associated Press, 4/26/17
Their parents do; parents who succumb to the pressure and whining inflicted by spoiled children who won’t relent until they get what they want and then act all shocked when their children commit unspeakable acts, blame everyone else but themselves and whine about what’s going to happen to them, heaven forbid.
The genie is out of the bottle and the general public are at the mercy of the narcissistic youth who do stupid shit while livestreaming their antics to their online friends. It’s just a matter of who is blessed enough to avoid contact with them.