I’ve met this shy girl called Girl in middle school. We started talking a lot since both had things in common. She told me how she discovered the internet at a young age. She was a young girl from upstate new york, her mother barely gave her attention, and she didn’t know that much about her father. She started using the internet when her mother gifted gave her an HP laptop. At the age of 6, her mom would work from 9 am to 10 pm, and Girl would spend hours on her laptop watching youtube videos. This would become a routine for her until she started exploring more parts of the internet. Like every child, she would research random words on internet explorer or youtube. She would search words like “xx cow girl” or random words. She told me that those words “xx cow girl” was a soft p0rn0 video on youtube. Obviously, she didn’t know what was that since she was only a child. She never told her mom about it because her mom was a strict woman, and I remember she told me crying that she felt dirty for being exposed to that video. Regardless of what happened to her, she continued watching random videos on youtube that would be considered creepy. That’s until she stumbled to a gore site. Out of curiosity, she would watch how many humans died on tragic events, or how gruesome their deaths were. This traumatized her a lot in life. However, she told me that she stumbled upon a game that was multiplayer. Meaning you can play with anyone. She told me crying, that she would play with a random user, however, this user would be creepy with her and ask her inappropriate questions. She would even ask me what was the meaning of a virgin, which I didn’t know because I was underage during that time. She told me that If this user never saw her he would tell her mom and that everything would go wrong. Obviously, she was scared so she just left the game, and never told her mom what happened. We continued to be friends, and she told me that she continued the game at the age of 8, and she told me that many users would write her inappropriate messages. She told me more of her experience on the internet. She once told me that there was a private group on Facebook, and they posted gore, “undercovered” information from the gov, animal abuse, stolen credit cards and etc. She told me. “It’s surprising that they never banned the group because it was really bad”. She told me that teenage girls would post inappropriate stuff to gain likes or even more. However, one thing that she told me, and I will never forget is the fact of how someone from the group planned to do a school shooting. Unfortunately, this happened. My friend told me that the 15-year-old boy decided to kill all of his classmates, and then he would commit suicide. At first, I didn’t believe in her, but then I checked the news, and she was right. I won’t write the post the personal information of the shooter to pay respect to the victim. She showed me his writing and his pictures. She told me how depressed she was, and how she wished that she never had explored more into the internet. The internet can be beneficial if you check the correct things, but if you check the negative side of the internet you can mess up you mental health.
Professor: Jessica Penner
Office Hours: Tuesdays and Thursdays, 11:30 AM – 1 PM. I’ll be available through Zoom and will send an invitation via email that you should keep all semester. Try to join my meeting at the start of the hour, not at the end—since I may be talking to other students or have another appointment after the hour is up. If those times don’t work with your schedule, we can schedule a different time. This means you’ll have to schedule an appointment in advance via email. I suggest you have multiple times in mind, since your schedule may not mesh with mine!
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