By Ontahya Ross
Is It The New Era of Parenting?
Or Another Form of Bullying?
Painful emotion caused by the awareness of having done something wrong or foolish.
A pervasive, negative emotional state, usually originating in childhood, marked by chronic self-reproach and a sense of personal failure.
A condition of disgrace or dishonor; ignominy: an act that brought shame on the whole family.
One that brings dishonor, disgrace, or condemnation.
To bring dishonor or disgrace on: behavior that shamed him in the eyes of the community.
Is online shaming truly an acceptable form of parenting and another way for a parent to say look at me “I’m such a good parent”?
Bullying at its finest?
Most think that online shaming is a way of “teaching a lesson”. One of the leading ways of staying connected is through social media, so it may seem clever to use social media to reach a child. But what happens when it goes too far?
Some parents seem to relish in the self-satisfaction and self-imposed ego trip from shaming their kids online. I’m for anything that helps discipline, motivate, and encourage positive change and behavior in a child, but not at the cost of demeaning the child.
Online shaming has somehow become the norm of discipline. But is it really discipline or a way to make ourselves feel superior while demeaning another? We go on believing that we’re teaching the child a valuable lesson; then telling ourselves that the child brought this upon themselves because they were warned repeatedly not to do whatever caused the public shaming. But is this really helping the child when bullying, cyberbullying, in particular, is at an all-time high resulting in suicide.
Michael Taylor and Izabel Laxamana, are just a few who have suffered from online shaming.
Izabel Laxamana jumped from a bridge just days later after video surfaced of her father cutting the teens hair in an attempt to “change” her behavior. Many are calling what the father did abuse and blaming the video for her untimely death. Izabel Laxamana’s post on Google Plus just days before the teen’s death proves that she was troubled and having issues with fitting in.
Izabel Laxamana’s Google Plus post:
“I feel hated most of the time I’m in school i feel looked down on and I get judged a lot……In a school with so many people it’s weird to say “I feel alone” but the truth is that you really do feel alone.”
Even though the video of Izabel wasn’t originally posted by her father but rather by her friends, the video was still made with the intent to inflict shame.
Michael Taylor, was also a victim of online shaming. The teen was caught posing as a gangster by his uncle. The uncle whips the teenager and tells him to post the video onto Facebook. The uncle was deemed the hero and less than a year later Michael Taylor was found dead for allegedly still trying to pose as a “gangster.”
Remember when you tried to change certain the things you didn’t like about yourself? And if you succeeded, remember what a feat that was, and how long it took? Now imagine trying to change someone else, when you lack the ability to change yourself…I’m not saying that discipline isn’t needed, in all means it is, but there has to be a more humane way to teach our kids; to enforce positive behavior.
So the question is:
Does online shaming work?
If so, is it worth it?
Or does it worsen an already agitated situation and put the child in a desperate state, to not only prove themselves to their peers and others, but also to hold on to their dignity?
We live in a society ruled very much by what others think of us, where even adults are still struggling to find themselves and grappling to fit in. We have to ask ourselves,
Is it worth it?
Does this retrograde self-hate and low self-esteem? All the while, we are teaching kids that mistakes are not to be made. Instead, we should be enforcing that not only are mistakes to be made but also teaching children how to learn and grow from their mistakes, rather than discouraging an humiliating them for making mistakes.
-Always coming from a place of love & Life Lessons
Ontahya is an entrepreneur, and the upcoming author of the novel “Between My Legs”: One Woman’s Story of Learning How to Love one’s self Comes at One Hell of a Price. Stay connected through her website: inspirational-life.com, Instagram: @ontahya, Facebook: facebook.com/ontahya
Face of Grenada (FOG) collaborated with the Grenada Fisheries Division in 2015 in the Eastern Caribbean Marine Managed Areas Networks’ (ECMMAN),’This is Who We Are’ campaign. The campaign facilitates environmental education and awareness through innovative mediums such as high impact videos, environmental theater productions, radio programs, fun fairs, mascots, and photography and art competitions, among others to understand the profound impact that our daily activities or practices may have on water quality and ocean health.
Tiffany Evans along with Adonna Campbell (first runner up) and Kara Benjamin (third runner up).
The campaign contributes to the ECMMAN objective to ‘strengthen the capacity of adaptive management of marine protected areas in Grenada with the aim of enhancing the effectiveness and impact on the livelihood of coastal communities, as well as on biological diversity and ecosystem services’ by building awareness of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) particularly through support the establishment of a new MPA in Grand Anse.
Tiffany Evans by Shoulan Carter.
Under the FOG 2015 theme “Promoting Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) and Healthy Coastal Communities in Grenada.” The producers of FOG partnered with the Grenada Marine Protected Areas Network team to conduct a series of photo shoots, which were held in various Marine Protected Areas throughout the island of Grenada. To see a sample of these photos you can visit- https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.596060553868960.1073741867.347603165381368&type=3.
From left to right: Adonna Campbell, Tiffany Evans and Kara Benjamin.
Emerging victorious after the FOG finale on Saturday June 13th, 2015 was 21-year-old Tiffany Evans. Tiffany, as the reigning Face of Grenada, won a number of prizes that one can only describe as exceptional. Granted by the Grenada, Ministry of Education, she will be received a full scholarship to pursue her undergraduate degree within the St. George’s University, School of Arts and Sciences Department. She will also be receiving a small grant for a project based on her platform topic which is “Establishing a Culinary Market for the Invasive Lionfish”. She will be the first Grenadian to be featured on the cover and inside pages of Caribbean POSH Magazine. She will also receive a feature with Potent Magazine, a trip to Trinidad to participate in San Fernando Fashion Week Trinidad 2016, $2,500 cash prize and many other sponsored prizes. Part of her prize was also receiving this special feature with Nu Woman Magazine.
Tiffany Evans photographed by Shoulan Carter.
The partnership between Face of Grenada and the Grenada Fisheries Division allowed for an innovative way to disseminate information about marine protected areas through the FOG model photography competition, fashion finale and fashion magazines such as Nu Woman Magazine and POSH Caribbean Magazine, avenues that would have otherwise been unavailable to the Fisheries Division.
In this photo, Tiffany Evans along with Adonna Campbell (first runner up) and Kara Benjamin (third runner up), sport a ‘this is who we are’ promotional t-shirt, on the MPA yacht of the Grenada Marine Protected Areas Network within the Molinere/Beausejour MPA , specifically the lovely Dragon Bay in St. George’s.
Face of Grenada founder and director, Roxanne Graham stated that, “It is our hope that these special features aid in the promotion of knowledge of marine protected areas and marine resources, and that people are made more aware of how much we both depend on and impact the sea.”
Photography by Shoulan Carter.
Tiffany with Grenada Marine Protected Areas network representatives. Tiffany with Ezra Campbell, chief coordinator for FOG and in country coordinator for ECMMAN project.