NROP: Humiliation – Drawing attention towards it can cause more of it.

What is something embarrassing that you have done recently? Or something embarrassing that happened to you? Whenever I get asked such a question, I can never come up with an answer. Maybe it means that I lead a boring life in which there is no room for embarrassment. Perhaps I just block these moments from my consciousness? Suppress them. Or maybe I simply do not get as easily embarrassed as others.

Remember the times when your mom dropped you off at school and insisted on kissing you in front of your “grown-up” friends? Or when you would bring a friend home, and your parents insisted on showing them your baby photos? THOSE definitely happened to me. Family can be really embarrassing without them even trying. I bet you wished you could disappear when your mom gushed your chubby cheeks. Once your friend left, you promised to never bring anyone home. Until you did. And your parents embarrassed you again, all in good fun.

Nowadays, it is effortless to turn that up a notch and make sure that the WHOLE world is aware of your embarrassment. No wonder kids commit suicide. It is much easier to handle the embarrassment if only a handful of people are aware of it than when the whole world has the potential to know about it. As we know (or should know), nothing can truly disappear from the Internet. Whenever some sort of a tragedy occurs, authorities urge us not to share/ re-post certain videos. But, the more they try to keep it under wraps, the more of those videos appear. Someone saved it before it was taken down. Someone spent hours browsing through obscure websites to find it. Someone, somewhere. And the video lives on.

Do you know what a meme is? (Some do not and use it incorrectly, if at all.) Google defines it as “an element of a culture or system of behavior that may be considered to be passed from one individual to another by non-genetic means, especially imitation.” It follows the definition with an example: “a humorous image, video, piece of text, etc. that is copied (…) and spread rapidly by Internet users.”

Image result for leave britney alone meme

Kids, the Internet can be the greatest invention since sliced bread, but it can also be a very dark and dangerous place. Stay vigilant. Do not let it destroy your life or the life of your loved one.

Have you ever wondered how some photos and videos go viral? I definitely have. There are so many better ones out there, and yet, humanity insists on promoting the most random of things. There have been plenty of times when something I said before becomes an overnight sensation. Why is it THAT and not mine that becomes famous?

What does embarrassment have to do with the Internet and a viral post? This past week, an 11-year-old boy became very well known thanks to his mother. Why? Because she insisted on using social media to fight her battle. While I do believe she acted out of love for her child, I wonder if she stopped to consider the potential consequences of her actions.

A boy in Washington received personalized space at school. His desk and chair were moved into a bathroom. Was it a form of punishment? No, quite the contrary. The boy is autistic and prefers quiet environments with minimum stimuli. In an attempt to accommodate the student and his mother’s request, a teacher suggested an unused bathroom to be used as his workspace. Aside from the desk and chair, she also presented the kid with a camping mat and a pillow.

Once the mother heard what happened, she came to school, of course, snapped a photo of her kid’s “office”, and brought her kid home. Afterward, she posted the picture of her son in the bathroom on Facebook. “My son was humiliated, embarrassed, and disgusted at this inhumane suggestion that he work in a bathroom” – she wrote. She added: “When we got home he (the kid) was throwing up from the anxiety.” While this post has his face covered by a marker, there is another photo (see first link) out there that clearly shows his face.

The mother claims her child was humiliated and embarrassed, so she decided to blast it worldwide. How do you think the kid will feel once he sees his frowning face everywhere? Will he not feel humiliated or embarrassed then?

The Facebook post said that the child will not be returning to that particular school. Sure, it can be seen as a protective/ defensive mechanism, but what does it show the kid? It shows him that it is alright to run away from problems. I imagine that as an autistic child, he will be even more upset knowing that he cannot be treated like other kids.

I feel for the teacher. The article did not specify if that teacher still has a job or if they were fired/ put on leave, which is often the case in the day and age of social media rages. To me, it sounds like she did what she could to accommodate the boy. More often than not, there are not enough rooms to spare at a school (or office building). Yet, she managed to make the best of the situation and have the kid use a bathroom that was not being utilized. Why an 11-year-old would need a mat and a pillow at school is beyond me, but again, it seems as if the teacher was trying to make the student comfortable. Hopefully, the boy would learn and produce quality work that way. Win-win. Only lose-lose now.

Aside from blasting this issue all over social media, this mother also hired an attorney to help her with this matter.

A boy felt humiliated, so his mother posted a photo of him in his vulnerable state for all the world to see?

We’ll do anything. We’ll even throw our children to the wolves just to go viral.

Stay golden,

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42 thoughts on “NROP: Humiliation – Drawing attention towards it can cause more of it.

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  1. Agree with Jeanne. There are real tragedies and major offenses. Those should be dealt with. Other than that, kids need to learn to handle the rude and jerky behavior of their fellow humans without someone jumping in to surround them with pillows.

    And of course parents shouldn’t be mocking their own kids on the internet to get hits. I have said this since Day One. I can’t believe the garbage people post about their own children.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. To me, intentions are very important. They say hell is paved with good intentions, but I definitely appreciate the good ones. It pains me to see people judged harshly for something they didn’t mean to be offensive. In this case, I don’t think the teacher tried to make the kid feel bad. Quite the contrary, the teacher provided him with comfort items (ex.: pillow), which was probably bought with their own money. And then for someone to turn around and paint them the villain? That’s a bit much.

      Well said about the need to handle the world as is. That’s not because we are bitter, or because we don’t think there is hope for the world to be better. It’s because that truly is the only way to survive. Not only physically, but also mentally. Sure you can be smothered and lucky most of your life, but what if 1 bad thing happens and the pillows are not available? You fall apart.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. People’s life is more on FB these days than anywhere else.
    If I want to change my hair color, I just use an app to change it, upload it on FB and soak up the compliments, delete the insults.

    Do with your own life what you want, but stay away from others, especially those of children.

    The first time I delete FB cause my mum joined. I couldn’t handle the “honey, I can see you still haven’t fixed your tooth” type of comments of her.
    Now I blocked her. It had to be done 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I agree the mother had no business posting this on social media and I believe that the teacher was doing her best to accommodate the mother’s request and the boy’s needs. If the system worked properly this boy (as a special education student) should have had an IEP (individual education plan). The plan would have been developed by a team including him, his parents, teachers, counselors, administrators and anyone else involved in his education. The plan should have stated educational goals and methods that would be used to achieve those goals including any accommodations that would be provided. Where his quiet place would be should have been written in that plan and signed off on by everyone involved. I don’t think I would call it the system that failed but the people who should have been running the system did.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m not sure how all that works in reality. Some folks want their kids with the “normal” kids. They don’t want their child to feel the wrong kind of special. Some schools might not have resources for kids with “special needs”. But you’re right – ideally, this should have been addressed at the beginning, with all present and in agreement.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. That ‘parent’ was an idiot. But to ME? Who is ‘old school’ (i.e. born prior to all the mess around social media and the availability of that junk). My parents embarrassed me time to time, sure, but the embarrassment was in ‘real time’ and was mainly limited to the very small circle of people I actually knew. Total strangers in different countries couldn’t witness my ‘shame’. And even if they could have, I think everyone had a lot more common sense ‘back then’ and didn’t get in a snit over every slight, imagined or real. That horrible mother in your story should be ashamed of herself. I’m sure she is not. Self centered and attention seeking is the same, whatever generation it occurs in.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree that common sense is even less common today. Because shame is not documented for the world to see for all eternity, the rate of young people committing suicide grows. I don’t think it’s the right/ smart way to go, but I somehow understand it.

      Like

  5. This is such a timely post Goldie. There is so much “dirty laundry” out there. This mom could have handled this is so many different ways. I feel for the child. Your comment that when a child is embarrassed and humiliated, why would you want to exacerbate that by posting it so everyone in the world can see it. Bad decision by this mom as far as I can see. Once it is out there, it never goes away.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It never goes away. It can be a good thing (to remember great moments) and a bad thing (like in this case).
      It flabbergasts me to see people complain about their loved ones on social media. Or when they write things in hopes that other people will “get the hint”. It is all so distasteful.

      Like

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