Until hearing Carol Todd speak to our class, I never knew that her daughter was around the same age as me. I remember hearing about her story, and watching the YouTube video. I can also recall the backlash and debates over her story, even in the little town that I grew up in.
In order to think critically about Amanda’s story, I need to reflect on my own. The tactic my teachers and parents used to keep us off the internet was simple; fear. They would try to scare us away from the sexual predators that were hiding behind their computer screen. I guess you can say that it kind of worked. I was scared, and it did make me more cautious. But, when I was at a sleepover with two friends of mine, and they suggested going on Chat Roulette for fun I didn’t say no. I was also very young.
We went on Chat Roulette, seen some inappropriate things, and exited out of the chat immediately. We also talked to a few strangers. We didn’t make the mistake that Amanda did, and what she did was one mistake that would haunt and trap he for the rest of her life. When I think of myself at that age, I can understand Amanda, and that is why it is so important for Carol Todd to be heard.
My favourite thing about her talk was her metaphors. Simply because they are so true. When your child turns sixteen we do not simply hand them the keys to their vehicle without teaching them how to drive, or teach them road safety. So, why are we handing technology to our children without giving them the same kind of training. I really do not know the answer to this. We teach our kids not to open the doors of our house to strangers, yet we do not teach them about the strangers online.
The fear tactic does not work. But, teaching internet safety does. One of the best things about listening to Carol is how much she relates to our youth. She knows that students will be on their technology regardless of what we as parents or teachers tell them. So, we just need to teach them how to use it safely and properly.
I could have been in the same situation as Amanda Todd, and I am sure a lot of girls my age can say the same. It is a really scary thought. We need to use the tools Carol provided us with, and the knowledge we gain from this course to prevent our future generation from being able to say the same thing.