Homer Alaska - Letters

Story last updated at 6:06 PM on Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Pandora's box has been opened

I am a 57-year-old male, born of a generation that although considered madras cool, practiced respect and compassion. We were taught to have compassion for others and respect for the world we live in. We learned to value things like friendship and loyalty. Community and family were stepping stones to a better world. We were taught to take responsibility for our actions.

We "Baby Boomers" were born on the cusp of a social and industrial evolution. Computers were the stuff of science fiction, and social networking meant sharing a cup of coffee with friends and exchanging ideas. Games consisted of colorful boards or a deck of cards and a group of friends. Yes, there was competition, but in the end nobody suffered a bloody, horrible death at the hands of psychopaths bent on destroying the world, and each other, for sheer pleasure.

The whole idea of social networking and new technology was meant to bring us together as a global community, to share information that brought progress. It was meant to provide a forum for expressing our thoughts and our ideas, and to discuss our differences with respect and humility instead of watching your friend do "eye shots" of vodka, or your girlfriend set herself up for cyber stalkers.

We are evolving in a frightening direction. Our children have been given the idea that it is acceptable to display themselves in unflattering and dangerous ways. It has become acceptable to display hate and prejudice while spouting fanatical rhetoric. By allowing this display of immoral and catastrophic behavior, we have opened the proverbial Pandora's box. By allowing our children to use this technology to humiliate themselves and others, we are condoning behavior that instead should be condemned. It is time to bridge the gap between generations and convince our children once and for all that this behavior will only lead to the destruction of our communities and families.

Peter Mishou