His name was Josh Evans. He was 16 years old. And he was hot. "Mom! Mom! Mom! Look at him!"Tina Meier recalls her daughter saying.
Josh had contacted Megan Meier through her MySpace page and wanted to be added as a friend. "(es, he's cute.Tina Meier told her daughter. "Do you know who he is?" "No, but look at him a of Please, please, can I add rim?" Mom said yes. And for six weeks Megan and Josh-under Tina's watchful eye-became acquainted in the virtual world of MySpace. Josh said he was born in Florida and recently had moved to O'Fallon [Missouri]. He was homeschooled. He played the guitar and drums. As for 13-year-old Megan ... [she] loved swimming, boating, fishing, dogs, rap music and boys. But her life had not always been easy, her mother says. She was heavy and for years had tried to lose weight. She had attention deficit disorder and battled depression .... But things were going exceptionally well. She had shed 20 pounds, getting down to 175. She was 5 foot 5-1/2 inches tall. ... Part of the reason for Megan's rosy outlook was Josh, Tina says. After school Megan would rush to the computer .... It did seem odd, Tina says, that Josh never asked for Megan's phone number. And when Megan asked for his, she says, Josh said he didn't have a cell and his mother did not yet have a landline. And then on Sunday, Oct. 15,2006, Megan received a puzzling and disturbing message from Josh. Tina recalls that it said, "1 don't know if I want to be friends with you anymore because I've heard that you are not very nice to your friends,"
Sharping Your Focus
• What is the relationship between theory and research?
• What are the steps in the conventional research process?
• What can qualitative methods add to our understanding of human behavior?
• Why is it important to have a variety of research methods available?
• What has research contributed to our understanding of suicide?
• Why is a code of ethics necessary for sociological research?
Frantic, Megan shot back: "What are you talking about?" (Pokin,2007) This and other hostile instant message exchanges set into motion the final, disturbing episode in the life of Megan Meier, as she was suddenly confronted with not only the anger and cynicism of a young man she thought she knew.and trusted but also the bullying of other young people gathered on the social networking site MySpace who also sent a barrage of hate-filled messages that called Megan a liar and much worse. "Mom, they're being Horrible!" Megan said, sobbing into the phone when her mother called. After an hour, Megan ran into her bedroom and hanged herself with a belt. "She felt there was no way out;' Ms. Meier said. (Maag, 2007)
-the parents of Megan Meier recalling the events leading up to her suicide at only thirteen years of age