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|"Gunderson is a one-man show of angst and
energy, stories backed by a laptop, a big screen
and a lot of knowledge on the fascination as well as
the pitfalls of social networking"
The Lynn Daily Item, April 15, 2010
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National expert shares technology warning
with local students
By Cindy Aguirre-Herrera | Seguin Gazette
(Seguin) — Computers, game systems, iPads, cell phones — whatever it is, you might be able to
run but you’ll never ever be able to hide. That’s the idea behind a new age lesson in cyber
bullying and on other various types of abuse regarding social networking such as Facebook.
Josh Gunderson, a national expert on cyber bullying, brought his message to Seguin this week as
he visited various middle school students in the area. His presentation titled “Hooked on
Facebook" was part of a larger message of “Cyberbullying: Perpetrators, Bystanders and Victims."
During his presentation this week at A.J. Briesemeister Middle School, Gunderson illustrated to
students how quickly anyone in the world can find personal information about someone utilizing a
social network such as Facebook. He says the social medium is great only if people take time out
to pause and think about what they are posting on their profile wall.
"Think to yourself, do I want this out there for the entire world to see? Because in the end, it could
be the entire world looking at it. One of my favorite pieces of information about Facebook — is this
came in an anonymous interview with a former employee that talked about that at Facebook all the
employees having something called the ‘master password" and what this master password allows
them to do is log into people’s accounts. Now not log on and look at you as if you are their your
friends but log in as if they are you and their favorite past time would be to read people’s
messages back and forth whether it’s boyfriends or girlfriends fighting, husbands and wives
fighting, people just fighting in general and they use that as their own entertainment. So my
question that I have to ask is ‘is that okay for them to do that?’ (Students yell no!) No! That’s an
invasion of privacy but legally, you all gave them permission to do that," said Gunderson.
Much of Gunderson’s focus was on cyber bullying and making sure everyone takes responsibility
for their actions while on Facebook or other technology that connects people.
Gunderson says more and more kids are finding themselves being bullied by texts, pictures or
words expressed through social networking. In many cases, he explains, those students end up
hurt or end up taking their own lives.
He says this new age of technology obviously makes it easier to post pictures and to
communicate. Yet, inappropriate behavior or behavior that kids especially think is funny or
harmless can end up being very serious.
"There were some 14 and 15-year-old girls who took some rather scandalous photos of
themselves and sent them off to some older boys at school. Now one of these boys is caught
texting in class and the teacher took away his phone for that reason. Well this kid had sent one of
these photos to his main photo. Now these girls — these 14 and 15-year-old girls — they are
charged with manufacturing child pornography. These 16-year-old boys are charged with
possession of child pornography. Everyone involved with this story is now a registered sex
offender. Their futures are now basically set in stone," said Gunderson.
Eighth grader Elyzabeth Raderstorf says she enjoyed Gunderson’s presentation. Raderstorf, who
does have a Facebook account, says there was clearly one thing she didn’t know.
"Whatever you put on Facebook, stays on Facebook and no matter what you do, you can never
erase it. Everybody had a feeling of that but nobody was sure of what they put on and if they put it
on there, they would have no idea of what to do about it," said Raderstorf.
Eighth grader Ty Elley says he also learned a lot about the cons of social networking when not
careful. Elley told Seguin Radio KWED that he was stripped of the account by his parents — a
decision that he says he is now grateful for.
"All the bad stuff that could happen to you on Facebook like all the bullying and stuff. A lot of my
friends will bully people on there. I don’t because I’m off of it and I’m like yea!" said Kelley.
Gunderson’s trip to Seguin was made possible thanks to Texas Lutheran University. The program
is part of this year’s annual Sam and Jennie Selig Lectures. The event was also made possible by
the TLU Guadalupe County Community Symposium and Brown Cultural Enrichment Endowment