Cyber bullying/online bullying whatever you want to call it, it is everywhere! From Facebook to Snapchat to comments on Local New sites, to other social media outlets, there is no escape.
It seems that when people can hide behind a profile picture to post a comment, they somehow have less reservation about what they say. Strangers that don’t know people or their situations respond harshly to the latest story and banter back on forth as part of the game or sport. People that do stand up for those in question or try to help others understand the full situation, are merely pushed aside for others to continue the public ridicule and shaming.
I have had the experience of reading the comments on News articles on more than one occasion when the article was about someone that I knew and loved personally. In a time where love, support, and encouragement was needed, instead salt was poured into the already raw wounds as I read over the vicious comments of people using the story as a sport.
The Price of Shame
I was made more aware of this as I came across this TED Talk by Monica Lewinsky. Although young at the time of her ‘fame’, it made an impression on me. I wasn’t super inclined to watch this at first, but I am so glad that I put my judgements aside. Regardless of the person you think she is or your previous views on her situation, the advice and insight she gives is wonderful.
Here is a woman who became the face of public ridicule and shame just as the internet was becoming a large source of news traffic. Listen to her story of how she survived, and the advice that she gives others who are in similar situations, and those who are merely watching and reading others’ stories online.
There is power in what we click on. If people don’t click on it, it doesn’t sell. Choose what you support by your clicks.
Give it a Ponder
How can we stop this trend? A super easy way is to just think before you respond! Remember Thumper saying “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say nothin’ at all”. Try to think how you would feel if you were the person that was reading your response. It seems simple, but it is easy to get caught up in the moment and heat of the situation. Before responding, “give it a ponder”.
Every person has loved ones whether family, friends, significant others, etc. Would you say those same comments to that person or their loved ones face to face?
At the end of the day, all of us make mistakes. Some of our mistakes are big, some are small. Some of the mistakes we make can be seen by others, while some mistakes are only known to us. No matter how it comes about, our choices affect the lives of those around us. When we make mistakes, we all hope that people will support us in changing for good, rather than pushing us back down and reminding us of the wrongs we’ve done.
We can choose to make a positive change and difference in those we associate with. We are all different. Let’s build on those differences to lift and help others.
How do you combat cyber-bullying?
Other great talks I’ve mentioned before: