The Baby Social Giants

I've said before that I was late to the social media scene. Having a tech-savvy dad meant that I was well versed in the idea that the internet could be a dangerous place and that social media was a opportunity for bad people to manipulate children. As a result, I missed out on the Myspace craze. My little sister, being the rebellious kid she is, has a Myspace account. It took a lot of willpower and a little bit of sisterly love for me to not link her profile here.

Cyberbullying is something I've heard of but have been fortunate enough to never experience. Amanda Todd is a case I've heard of recently through the internet channels. Her cyberbullying began after a topless photo of her released online. She transfered schools, but the harassment followed her online. A student set his profile picture to her topless one, another told her to kill herself. Amanda attempted suicide by drinking bleach and, following her failure, a student reccomended via Facebook that she try a different kind of bleach. Amanda made a video of her holding up flash cards, telling her story. Days later she committed suicide.

The Lori Drew/Megan Meier story was a special case in the way of cyberbullying. At first sight, I assumed that the teenager was the creator of the cyberbullying. But as I read I found out that the adult in this situation was the cyberbullier. Myspace facilitated the attack and without its existence  I don't think that this kind of bullying would have been possible. Impersonation is something that has become much easier with aid of the internet. Included in my father's internet-safety speech was a healthy dose of "no one is who they say online".  I could go on to facebook right now and within moments create a complete profile of someone who has never existed. Lori Drew used this to create a man, build up the trust of a young girl, then tell her to kill herself. That kind of communication is on the of the dangers of the internet.

I personally have not heard of any musical success stories on MySpace, but I do not doubt that they exist. Tommy and the High Pilots is a band I've been fond of for quite some time, but I've never really investigated their online presence. Their MySpace page provides full clips of their songs and also houses basic information about the band, including information on the genre and how the group was formed. The MySpace page includes a stream which links directly to their twitter feed. I'm following them on Facebook also and they have a presence on the crowdfunding site PledgeMusic. PledgeMusic is a kickstarter-esque website where fans can donate money and receive tiered rewards as a result. Their PledgeMusic page is here.

Digg is a thing I have never touched. If it counts, I used to watch the weekly DiggNation web show every week, until it was discontinued this last year. I also know that they're a little like Reddit, which is a thing I know about.

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