As scary and unbelievable as it sounds, it was indeed a 'random' post on social media that led to things turning awry for this young mother.
Jayne Pearce from Manchester, UK, is no more today. The young mother’s absolutely normal life took a nasty turn as two of her friends hacked into her social media account and put up a status which had her arrested.
According to this report, this mother-of-two was at a friend’s house with two other women, Leonie Hampson-Ogden and Shauna Stanway on that fateful day. At some point, Jayne went upstairs to use the bathroom and once she returned she was set to go home. However, Shauna had gone up to take a look at the baby and claimed that she saw the baby had a pillow and a blanket over his face.
Hearing this, Leonie hacked into Jayne’s Facebook account using her own phone and put up a status stating that, “I think I need sectioning, can’t believe I just tried killing a 12-week-old baby by suffocating it, feeling guilty.”
Soon enough, the cops came by to arrest Jayne and she was imprisoned, for no fault of hers, for almost 10-months. Once the authorities realised that it was a case of wrongful imprisonment, she was released. However, the time spent in jail had changed her. She took to drinking and indulging in drugs. Before soon she was found dead at her home after ingesting a fatal cocktail of drugs.
Tragic, isn’t it? Someone’s idea of a social media prank turned out fatal for this young mother. Not only did it take her life, but it also rendered two young children motherless. While here the crime was committed by a couple of adults, it always makes sense to teach our kids to be safe and smart about using social media.
Social media rules for children
- Avoid clicking inappropriate selfies. The reasons could be many as to why kids feel the urge to post such pictures online. However, most often the aren’t aware of the damning consequences. As soon as you realise that your child is on a social media site or is contemplating creating an account, have a chat with him/her. Tell the importance of spending time with real friends as compared to the virtual company they crave for. Make it known to them that it is illegal to share naked images online. Remind them that who they are is more important than what they look like.
- Avoid spending too much time on social media yourself. Children pick up a lot from their parents and guardians. If you speak to your child with your eyes glued to the phone, expect them to pick up the cues. Maintain certain house rules as to when and for how long they can spend time online and which sites can be accessed. Ask them to put away their phones and computers during dinner and especially an hour before bedtime. Abide by these rules and ensure that they face appropriate consequences if the rules are broken.
- NEVER chat online with strangers. ‘Stranger-danger’ applies in the virtual world as well. Explain to them the concept of fake profiles and how people with bad intentions can misuse this and cause harm. Be firm about them never meeting any of the virtual friends in person without the parents’ consent or presence.
- Cyberbullying is a no-no. Bullying, be it in the virtual world or the real world, has scary repercussion. Talk to your child regularly. Encourage them to open up to you. Tell them that bullying is not what the brave do. If ever they spot bullying of any form or experience it, it needs to be reported to the parents or a trustworthy adult around.
Apart from these, children need to be wary of location sharing apps. These apps can be so detailed that a stalker wouldn’t need anything else. Sharing too much personal information is also a bad idea. Parents should explain the possibilities of a seemingly harmless act spelling big trouble for them.
As parents, our responsibility doesn’t end by just warning our children of the various pitfalls of social media, if used inappropriately. We must also make the effort to keep an eye on our kids’ presence on these sites.
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