Normally, I try to keep things upbeat in my postings to SAESL, but I read something this week that disturbed me.
For those of you who visited or used our location at EduNation in Second Life, you saw the work of Gavin Dudeney (Dudeney Gee in SL). Gavin works with Consultants-e and travels around the world doing seminars on how corporations and organizations can integrate technology into their training programs. He’s an impressive ed-techie. I had the benefit of interacting with Gavin on a few occasions to update media settings and such at the EduNation parcel. Naturally, because I recognize the name, I notice when he’s published a new article or book chapter and I also follow him on Twitter.
This week, Gavin wrote a disturbing blog post in which he admits that he’s been being harrassed online for quite some time. As I read through the post, it was chilling. Somewhere in the back of my mind, I knew that this thing goes on. But for it to be this blatant and ongoing and happening to one of “our own” in our field, it hits close to home. I’m amazed at his bravery for being open about what’s been going on and also that he’s continuing on–such an experience could certainly make one wary of any social media whatsoever, which is a very important tool in our field. As of this morning (12.5.10), Gavin reported via Twitter that the post has netted “82 comments, 99 tweets, 234 DMs, 79 emails, 2237 unique views in four days.” This shows that I’m not the only one who thinks it’s hit close to home. To read the initial post and comments, go to Gavin’s That’sLife blog–http://slife.dudeney.com/?p=665 .
As he mentions in the post, December 17 is Anti-Bullying Day. Maybe Gavin’s honesty has opened a few eyes. Maybe by sharing his experience, he’ll encourage people to be a bit nicer. It’s possible to disagree with someone online without turning it into bullying. Maybe we can turn December 17th into a day without hurting others, whether it be online or otherwise. But then again, maybe sometimes I’m too much of a dreamer.