It’s amazing what people will do for attention, fame and getting someone to take notice. In the case of some girls in North Babylon, New York, in order to get some attention three girls (14, 14, 13) took to beating a third (13) so that they could post the incident online.
You can thank our culture for this event.
First, we have a “Fear Factor” culture– anything for money. You can be certain that there was some kind of reward for this video on the two sites that displayed it. It was either money or the second part of our current culture– webcam attention– that was the reason for this crime.
We all need to understand just how strong the pull of acceptance can be on these teens and what lengths they will go to in order to be noticed, to be well known, or liked. What the Internet has done is that it has taken the peers that a child would normally have (those found in school, church, and the playground) and multiplied the number several orders of magnitude.
Now their lives are not judged (by themselves) simply by who they are in contact personally, but their friend they Instant Message (IM) from Singapore, the grown man pretending to be a teen, and their in-person friends. They also have web pages where they are judged by how many people have added them as a friend, what the comments people leave about them, and whether they will go further than the person the “next website over.”
There’s pressure there that we never had to deal with. Now, a person should only be concerned about what God thinks of them– since that is the only appropriate standard– but since many have not yet accepted Christ, and even then teens are usually struggling through gaining their own identity anyway, it is our job as parents and loved ones to help reaffirm who they are in Christ, and to expose this folly for what it is.
We should not care about what those around us will say, but God will say about us. This is a hard lesson, but one that needs to be learned early if we are to have a joyful life.