If you’re like me and you keep even remotely good tabs on the geeky side of the internet you’ve probably seen or at least heard about this video of a kid freaking out at a toy store because his parent won’t let him get Pokemon cards. I’m not going to link to it. If you’re curious, I’m sure it’s not difficult to find. As I watched, I got a bit of a chuckle because this kid is way, WAY into Pokemon, but then an idea started creeping its way into my head: this is wrong.
Children are pretty much balls of emotion constantly trying to figure out how they should react in any given situation, so sometimes they have these extreme reactions to minor events. Capturing those events and spreading them all over the internet is not a good thing. Sure, it might get a chuckle out of people for the minute or two it takes to watch that video, but you know for a fact that someone is going to recognize that kid from their class or family and they will be ridiculed incessantly for who knows how long. Did you ever freak out in a store over something stupid? I’m guess the answer is yes, but you were just lucky enough to live in a time when people weren’t walking around with cameras in their pockets at all times.
This kid might have had bad behavior, but does he deserve the kind of ridicule that will surely flow from this getting around? No way. This is one of the problems with the ease of technology and spreading information, people do it without even thinking. I bet the two 20-something dudes in the video (one filming, one standing just to the side so his friend can have something to point his phone/camera at) didn’t even consider how or if this simple act would damage the kid. But, it’s out there now and all over the place. Even if the kid’s family took legal action, the damage is already done.
I’m not saying he’ll be scarred for life, but I am saying that we all need to take a few extra minutes to think about how technology has both changed our lives and our moral compass. I’m sure if I had seen this kid freaking out at a store, I would have told my friends about it, but the subject’s anonymity would have remained intact. Even blogging about it would just tell the story. This video might not showcase the child’s name but his face is pretty clear and easily identified if you know him.
At the end of the day, I think that children should be protected and that includes from online nonsense. The only surefire way to do this would be to never leave the house, but that’s ridiculous. I think it’s more important for people to just try and think a little harder about how their actions might effect other people.