High School Vs. The Internet

Sometimes I miss High School...

I definitely don't miss the 'politics' or the bitchiness but I do miss having all my friends in the one place and seeing them nearly everyday :) I think the bitchiness is just one of things that comes with high school. I was definitely not a saint but I tried really hard to not make high school worse than it had to be. I think we all have our bad days and sometimes people get caught in the cross fire which is sad but there is a whole other level of bitchiness that exists as well and that bitchiness is just horrible!

 I wasn't a 'popular' girl at high school but I seemed to awkwardly fit in to a few different groups of people and that was where I liked to be, I made friends easily and liked people for who they were on the inside! Those bitchy girls had no place in my life, had they taken the time to reach out I would have probably been there to get trampled on... that's the kind of girl I was. I was a hyperactive teenager, constantly noisy and I guess unique in a way that grated on some peoples nerves because there were people that hated me... I didn't know why but they did and they made it 'uncomfortable' at times but I survived! 

High School was my escape most of the time, the place where the dramas and responsibilities of home were forgotten. Where I could be me and have fun... and somewhere in amongst all of the fun I learnt ;) Home wasn't always wonderful... it was messy, but LIFE is messy! Divorce, mental illness, financial difficulties all made things harder but you wouldn't know how things were at home even in the rough patches when you saw me at school. To most of those kids I was the loud happy girl who wore the long sleeve top, brown corduroy pants, keyrings on her shoes and who loved to wear cargo pants on Fridays... and I was okay with that! 

The sad thing is that for some children the 'rough' parts don't stop, the bitchy people aren't just those few girls that hated you but the whole school and rather than reach out and help... people turn their backs, scared that they too will end up on the 'outside' 

Being a mum of a school aged children I have come to realise that the bitchiness starts much earlier than I realised... Primary school is definitely not a stranger to bullying and although a lot of it is short lived it is still there! When I talk to my daughters about bullying I always tell them to try not to make things hard for another child as you never really know what is going on at home, I tell them to make sure that they are a good friend... eventually people will see you for who you are and you want to be seen as the best you you can be and I remind them that this stuff won't really matter when they're an adult, that they most probably won't even know these kids when your older... Ummmm... enter the internet & social media! 

I realised today that I have been telling them that they will grow apart, move away or lose touch with many of these people. After all that's what happened with me... and a lot of the other parents I talk too BUT times change and the introduction of sites like Facebook and My Space (just to name a couple) means that we are able to keep in touch with more people, STAY in touch with all those people we would have other wise lost in the journey of life. I know that for most of the time I was in High School I didn't have an email address... we didn't even have a home computer! I couldn't even count how many hours I spent on the telephone but we certainly didn't have internet, I mean the dinosaurs would have interfered with the signal right?! Over the last 5 years I have re-connected with many high school friends via Facebook which has been wonderful! We have all grown and had families and most of what happened in high school are nothing but distant memories... we are different people now!

Facebook for example has an age restriction that says you need to be 13 to be able to use their services. So at 13... Grade 7 or 8 you are 'allowed' to connect using Facebook. Our children are then able to connect with their school friends outside of school and forge different friendships with internet 'friends' they have never even met. They will share photos, music, statuses and are able to express themselves in a way I never could...but... along with these friends will also come the bitchiness! There is now the opportunity for children to be bullied online as well as at school and those children who 'escape' to their home or who relocate to get away from bullying are STILL able to be reached :( There is also the opportunity for these children to be bullied as they grow into adults... Bullying that can follow them from high school into their adult lives...

What do you think... are our future generations going to be hindered by this new 'connection'? Does staying connected mean we won't have the chance to drift apart and grow OR will we still manage to go off to work, live, have families and accomplish our dreams and...

One day see each other through much wiser eyes? 



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