Just because you can…

…….doesn’t mean you should.

Dharun Ravi was just convicted on all 15 counts of invasion of privacy, bias intimidation and witness tampering. He is the young Rutgers student accused of all the above when his roommate, gay Tyler Clementi discovered he had been spied upon while having sexual relations with another man. The encounter was caught on webcam set up by Ravi, and Clementi subsequently jumped to his death off a bridge.

Ravi grew up in the US, but he is not a US citizen.  He has essentially known no life other than as a typical American.  But, any “alien” convicted of a felony is at risk of deportation because the US government doesn’t wish to house “undesirables.”

Daily we read of teens who “sext:” they send videos and photos to friends of themselves nude or otherwise exposed. Daily, we hear of a teen who is accused of child pornography for sending such a video or photo-thus putting him/herself at risk of being a “sex offender,” and needing to register in every town, and greatly limiting his/her opportunities in life.

We live in a techno society.  Kids grow up connected, and don’t always understand the consequences of their actions. Tyler Clementi is dead.  Though Ravi is not accused of causing his death, it is not a great leap of imagination to figure that one action at least indirectly impacted the other, and Ravi is now a convicted felon, subject to deportation.

I have no solution, but would like to suggest that we all emphasize to our children and grandchildren:  Just because you can (webcam/sext/video/youtube) doesn’t mean you should.  The actions have consequences.

The life you ruin may be your own……..