I’ve got a mild confession to make, I read celebrity gossip. I’m somewhat selective in my indulgence, avoiding tabloids and limiting my habit to two blogs. LaineyGossip (a Canadian blogger who avoids “sad smut” and writes like she knows the value of what she actually does, and Celebitchy – a blogger with similar intentions. They poke fun at the famous, highlight the positive social advancements (diversity in Hollywood etc.), avoid the exploitation of celebrity children and minors, and provide me with lighthearted entertainment.
One story that has been written about this year is of a playboy bunny who took a photo of a senior citizen gym member undressing in a locker room. This story bothered me because the victim is a senior citizen, who was exploited with technology. The bunny posted a picture of the woman on one of her social media platforms and ultimately poked fun at the victim’s appearance. A playboy bunny, who will always and only be judged for her appearance victimized a senior citizen for how her body looks. The gym immediately banned the bunny (way to go, LA Fitness) and the bunny claims it was meant for a private audience and not intended to be made public. According to one article I read, the victim asked for reimbursement of the cost associated with replacing her backpack that appeared in the photo to avoid being recognized while the bunny has been granting interviews to tabloids (probably earning top dollar) and making it sound like she’s the victim. She’s been sentenced to community service and probation, a light slap on the wrist.
When will people start to use good judgment? Taking pictures in a locker room where people should feel safe to change clothing and shower is not a place for photography. The world is in a sad state when we actually have to remind people by posting “no cell phone” zones in gym locker rooms. Bullying senior citizens, or ANY citizen by bringing attention to their appearance is incredibly juvenile. Do we need an app to tell us when it’s ok to snap and post pictures?
Despite all this negative press about social media and an immature adult teasing a senior citizen like an adolescent bully vs. an unknowing peer, technology does have more positive influence than bad. We need to bring attention to these types of interactions with a lesson learned attitude so generations that follow understand our societal norms (permitting and prohibiting technology, debating data protection and privacy laws, understanding online history). We need to understand that we, the humans with the devices are the intelligent ones. The bunny was armed with a cell phone and claims she posted the pic by mistake. It sounds like a “people don’t take pictures, cell phones take pictures” quote. Perhaps elementary and secondary educational systems need to include ethical technology classes in their standard curriculum. Because that assaulting bunny has a weapon of mass humiliation.