If you haven't already joined MTV's anti-bullying movement via A Thin Line, you can connect with our latest awareness effort, the TV movie "DISconnected," which premiered Monday. The film revolves around four technology-dependent characters who all endure digital drama and suffer the consequences.
In addition to its star-studded premiere, MTV News' SuChin Pak hosted an exclusive after-show discussion with psychologist Jen Hartstein, "It Gets Better" founder Dan Savage and "Jersey Shore" stud Vinny Guadagnino.
"I see the viciousness of people every day," Guadagnino said. "I kind of want to be a soldier in the field, so to speak, and try to combat the negativity with a positive message. I want to help open people's eyes up, like this movie does, to the negativity."
The after show also featured in-depth discussions of sensitive subjects in social networking like sexting, cyber-bullying and online dating.
Guadagnino had two poignant bits of advice to offer on the subject of online bullying and dating: "Don't take things personally," he said, adding that when forging new friendships and relationships in the digital space, tread with caution and trust your gut. "If she has like two friends on her Facebook page and she's a supermodel, she's probably not real," he said. "If all her pictures are model pictures from Maxim, she's probably not real."
Savage recommended an even more-direct approach: "Get away from the ... computer," he said. "Sometimes, you talk to kids who are being bullied online, and it doesn't even occur to them that they can shut the computer and walk away from it. The bullies can't chase them out of the computer and across the house to another room. You can disconnect."