Thursday, April 19, 2007

Social Networking and Virtual Reality: MySpace, Facebook and Other Evil Things

Out of touch jewish educators and parents are slowly catching on, but they still don't even know the half of it...
The party, as parties involving adolescents often do, got a little out of hand. Photos were snapped, some of which were wholly inappropriate, especially for the students of a New York area yeshiva high school for girls. One sophomore in particular got rowdy, taking suggestive photos of her partially exposed body, according to a number of those present at the party.

That should have been the end of it. The girls at the school, whose name is being withheld to protect the offending student, should have gone home and let the memory of the evening slowly dissipate. It should have been a passing moment.

But the rowdy girl posted a photograph of herself on Facebook, the popular online social network. Another girl, one with an axe to grind, according to several students familiar with the incident, downloaded the photograph of her nemesis and had it sent to the school’s administrators. A few weeks later, the girl who had taken the photo — who had been accepted to the school on probation — left the school, enrolling instead in a public high school, according to a source with intimate knowledge of the situation. The Facebook posting seemed to contribute to her leaving.

“This was just a fight between two girls, and it should have stayed that way,” said one student at the school who asked to remain nameless.

Other students at the school, however, disagree. “The Facebook thing just made [the girl’s situation] worse,” said one student, “but it’s not like she didn’t have any other problems at school. The posting was just the last straw, that’s all.”
Virtual Values, Real Victims Students and administrators at Jewish schools grapple with pitfalls of online social networking.

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