Friday, November 22, 2013

Light of Day

An internet video of an university female's sexual experience on the sidewalk under the Chase Bank sign on Court Street has haunted me the past few weeks. Where was the friend that could say, "Bad idea. You're drunk, let's go!" What does it say about the world today that the first thing a stranger that comes upon two people engaged in sexual activity on a main thoroughfare does is to whip out their smartphone and post the scene to the world over? This is what keeps circling in my head-- not the sex on the street part, but the lack of concern and the alcohol fueled decision making.

My husband and I have come upon female students peeing in alleys, dodged males stumbling about the Court Street Shuffle, and wished for ear plugs for the yeowling, "You go girl!" calls that imbibers just can't seem to keep to themselves let alone maintain some form of normal voice modulation. 

Students that binge drink tend to make choices that in the light of day are embarrassing, and now they're documented by strangers and posted for the whole world.

Maybe it's all the years around the military's Safety Standowns to the eighteen to twenty-one crowd, but I expected the local university to have a big powwow with students about binge drinking, safety nets, or at least a discussion about poor decision making when fueled by alcohol. However, while waiting with another twenty or so of my fellow Athenians for a pizza at Avalanche, I perused a newspaper article about the university discussing "standby behaviors" of strangers in light of the recent internet event.  I found my pulse flickering upward. The university is talking about strangers intervening. Yes, I think several thousand views of the strangers' video confirm that an intervention occurred including documenting and posting it to the internet. 

Surely, this is an alcohol problem? Psst, alcohol strategies might be helpful. The bystander bugged me because the moment was only worth recording on their phone. The beauty of two human beings trying to connect was lost before the almighty glare of the internet and in the haze of alcohol fueled irresponsibility. And we're not the only place with this kind of problem, I read this quote in the New York Times, “We don’t have to look each other in the eye. An electronic barrier divorces us from shame and from the hurt felt by others.”

More gazing at real world is needed.