Cyber-Bullying and Adults
It seems everyone has a voice these days. If you have a device that can access the internet, than your voice will be heard. Social media makes it easy to locate like-minded souls and spread your message. It can be a dream for entrepreneurs and cause-matic crusaders, but with the flip of a coin the dream can come crashing in when haters and cyberbullies arise. Facebook tries to understand the complexity of the issues with its reporting features, but does it truly understand the issues when your concern is simplified into a multiple choice equation?
Cyber-bullying happens among adults. It happens in our neighborhood and community groups. The very groups that are created to connect become cesspools of hate. It happens when one person decides to attack other members’ post with negative responses, posts with harassing pictures or information about other members or taunts or ridicules others. You would think that adults would be beyond this sort of behavior. Especially, the same adults that advocate cyber-bulling and bullying prevention in the schools. Is it simply that our adult society is ignorant to the rules of the internet or an incompetence to our social norms. I believe it’s a combination of both. For many like myself, we didn’t grow up in a online social sphere. We grew up in a world were bullies punched and mean girls excluded us at the lunch table. It was a physical face-to-face society unlike the cowardly, face-less jabs that are laughed away as a meme today.
What happened to the sayings we were taught as children, “If you don’t have something nice, don’t say anything at all?” Why can’t this equate to “If you don’t have something nice to post or comment, just keep scrolling”? The way we interact with others has changed, but the way we conduct ourselves shouldn’t. This is our neighborhood, this is our community, this is our village.
I want my voice to be heard for the good. I am tired of sitting idly by when I read the same negative comments posted by the same people in my neighborhood that other neighbor’s posts/concerns don’t matter. I’m calling these people out for the cyber-bullies that they are.
I hope my plight for good is well received, but I know cyber-bullies won’t be turned to the other side so easily. I know this all too well when I watched a friend fight for good in her community. She asked for posts in her community group to be encouraging and helpful in nature, and when members didn’t comply (after several warnings) they were removed from the group. The cyber-bullies didn’t stop there. They created their own group filled with hateful memes slandering individuals and tearing down their very own community.
What’s a person to do when our own community is consumed by hate? The do-gooders are being trampled in the mud as we watch while sipping our latte at Starbucks. I’m not suggesting we throw our Pumpkin Spice latte down in disgust and march down the street, but I would like to see more people in our community and neighborhoods sticking up for their friends and neigbors, and showing a little bit more respect for their fellow man (woman).
Have you been a victim of cyber-bulling in your community? How did you handle it?