Sunday, February 18, 2007

Do you YouTube?

Technology - the great enabler, right?? Well, maybe not. I am going to go off on more of a rant than usual because this is an issue that really bugs me.

Everybody with an Internet connection has heard about You Tube. I admit that I visit You Tube pretty regularly and have a lot of fun watching some of the clips. The problem is that at it's base, this is a pretty benign thing... then some whack-job has screw it up!

Case in point - there's a clip (actually a number of them) which depict teachers wigging out in the classroom. In these cases students conspired not only to annoy a teacher enough to provoke a response, but to capture and post it.... It's not bad enough that these little charmers chose to abuse someone who is there to help them grow and, these model citizens decided to publicly humiliate their teacher on a global basis... nice.

We wont get into the philosophical debate about whether these kids violated laws, or were just exercising their constitutional rights, but I defy you to show me any link between this behavior and any intent by the framers of our constitution which would permit this. In fact, I posit that had the Continental Congress seen such behavior they would have turned these kids over a knee and let them have it!

The point to my rant is that this disrespectful behavior has enjoyed a type of audience and celebrity never before imaginable at a time when restrictions on our society seem to show us abdicating our ability to "parent" our kids and ourselves to the electronic babysitter and public opinion. The perfect storm of ubiquitous technology, a sense of entitlement and a public apathy around demanding proper behavior and accountability is having unforeseen and troubling results.


Take a stand - In whatever venue you find this type of techno-misbehavior, demand that those infringing the rights of others stop doing so. If you agree to let your staff record your rant and post it on the Web, so be it... but if they do so without explicit permission - demand they take it down.

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