This Weekly Me has to specifically do with the recent trial of Dharun Ravi, the Rutgers student accused and convicted of his actions against his freshman roommate, Tyler Clementi. In a nutshell Dharun spied on Tyler via a webcam while he was having a personal interlude with an older male. He spied on him twice, and while he never actually recorded the incidents, he proceeded to tweet his thoughts on what was happening to share it with his friends. Tyler tragically committed suicide and Dharun’s actions may have had something to do with it.
To see the interview with Dharun Ravi from ABC’s 20/20 go to the attached link www.abcnews.go.com/2020.
In the interview Dharun came across as a relatively nice guy but there were a few comments he made that spoke volumes to me. I’m paraphrasing what he said but I’ve linked them together and it was something like… I was never thinking about what if someone reads this how they are going to feel. I was just very self-absorbed and it was never about what if Tyler finds out. We were just kids talking; it was not a serious conversation.
Was this bullying? He never used a derogatory word against Tyler. He never said things that were directly hateful. All he did was share Tyler’s personal life; a “juicy” story on campus and as a freshman Dharun had a lot to gain.
It might not be considered bullying in the traditional sense but then we’re only just beginning to truly define this widespread fungus.
And the questions keep popping up. How could he not know that sharing someone’s private life in the most public manner is insensitive? How could Tyler’s feelings be the furthest thing from his mind? How could he think that this was a good use of his time and a way to make friends?
Dharun is a bright kid and came from what appears to be a good, supportive family. Did his parents think their child was capable of using words in an insensitive way that would be seen as exceptionally hurtful and perhaps be the cause of someone committing suicide? Of course not, he was seen as funny with an outgoing personality and was well liked with everything to look forward to.
Whether we choose to see it or not we created the path for Dharun to go down. We’re steering kids down it every day and we’re not even aware of it. We’ve given them access to a much bigger world but forgotten to remind them of some important life lessons. Perhaps we just expected them to naturally get it? Or maybe it’s because the media does the same thing that Dharun did but passes it off as newsworthy and freedom of speech and we as a society eat it all up.
The lessons. Truth is necessary but should always be spoken with love and kindness. If you don’t have something nice to say don’t say it and more importantly don’t share it via social media…..ever.
The sad part is that they were roommates and while Tyler knew what Dharun was tweeting they never once had a verbal conversation about it. No eye contact, no talking it through directly, only tweets and texts. If what Dharun said was true, he never meant any harm and that he actually liked Tyler, it makes you wonder what a conversation would have done to change their future. Final lesson, learn to talk to each other.
Dan Savage from, www.itgetsbetter.org , an organization that gives hope to gay and lesbian youth said that two lives have been destroyed here with no lessons learned. I agree.
I believe there is no law or courtroom trial that will change the future. We have to do it for our kids. And it needs to happen now.
I’m not here to blame the parents. Who am I? I have a 12 and 9 year old and my toughest challenges are yet to come. This story is being shared because it is there to teach us a lesson based on the world we live in today.
I’m listening. Are you?
Please let me know what you think. Comment below or send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Until next time….
Devoted to Me begins with me and continues to you. Accept it. Pass it on.