Today’s post is a little more serious than my usual content. However, I witnessed something on Facebook the other day that greatly disturbed me. I’m of course talking about cyber bullying.
The Internet is a great tool; I, like many others, spend the majority of my time working on it. The internet is my life and my job. Also, as an agoraphobic, the web has given me the opportunity to meet new friends.
However, along with the greatness, comes the downside; the anonymity that comes with an internet connection causes humans to disconnect physically from each other. Therefore, people don’t see the emotional response that other users have to their words and comments. As a result, these bullies can forget the impact that their words hold; getting carried away with picking on another user.
Now, the incident that I’m referring to occurred the other day in a Facebook group where one user took another user’s artwork and posted it to another, much larger, group. The person responsible then actively stood by while their followers swarmed the images like vultures and attacked the artwork with vitriol. I was disgusted. Constructive criticism is one thing, but to flat out insult someone’s work without any tips for improvement is just wrong.
For privacy purposes, I’ve not shown the original artwork or the names of the people and groups involved. Although, I’ve screenshotted a portion of the posted comments.
Let me be clear that these comments are not examples of constructive criticism; this is cyber bullying. Which, in case you’re wondering, can be illegal in some circumstances. So, please think twice before you post something online; you never know how you could affect the other person. Bullying someone does not make you “cool” or “edgy,” it makes you a gigantic asshole.
As for me, you may think that I need “tougher skin” or to “stop being so sensitive.” However, as I’ve grown older, I’ve discovered that I’ve developed less patience to sit around and let these occurrences happen; as such, I felt passionate about highlighting this incident to prove that cyber bullying is real and it does hurt people.
So, to close this post, I pose this question to the bullies of the world; Is tearing someone down actually worthwhile for you? Does it truly make you feel better about yourself? I’m genuinely curious as to why someone would feel the need to make a fellow human feel like utter shit about themselves.
Don’t forget that we’re all humans with feelings; online and offline. So, don’t be a dick.
What Can You Do About Cyber Bullying
The three biggest things that you can do are report, block, and ignore.
- Report – Report the user to the designated people; whether it be YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, etc.
- Block – Block the user from accessing your social media profile(s)
- Ignore – Ignore any future attempts the user makes to contact you.
For a complete list on how to handle a Cyber Bully, you can visit the RCMP website (or the website of your local police).