By Amy Manemann
Wikipedia defines Cyberbullying as the use of the Internet and related technologies to harm other people, in a deliberate, repeated and hostile manner. I recently had a friend who was the victim of intense cyberbullying, and upon reading this statement I was struck by the senselessness of it all. Why would people want to willingly treat others this way? I mean seriously, whatever happened to the Golden Rule?
My friend has been verbally abused, both personally and professionally, and though she has tried to make amends to remedy the situation on a more neutral ground, the bullying continues. Why? What possible purpose does it serve to completely trash another person like that?
The why’s of it I’m sure we’ll never truly know (though I have my suspicions jealousy plays a strong role) The entire situation brought me to the realization that we as adults set the ground rules for our children, and if this is the way WE are going to act online, what makes us think our children won’t follow suit?
Bullying of any kind is not Okay in my book. I live in a community where teenage suicide is on the rise. One of the main causes? Bullying. Come on people! I don’t expect everyone to hold hands around the campfire and sing Kum-ba-ya (despite being a writer, I do sometimes live in the real world and know that’s just not going to happen).
What I am suggesting is that maybe, just maybe, we take a step back and realize those hurtful words we say or mean things that we do can really hurt someone. You can’t take what you say and do back, once you throw it out there, it’s there to stay. The sad fact of the matter is, when you hurt someone like that, those are wounds that leave a scar for a long time to come. Take it from a girl who was picked on in school for being so skinny. I still have a bit of a complex when it comes to my weight.
Kids can be mean, it’s a plain and simple fact. But adults can be meaner. Why? Because we know better. We know what it means to be hurt and hurt others, and sometimes, we just don’t care. That’s the truth of it, cut and dried. So before you jump on a person trashing band wagon and make it your mission to bring someone down a notch, please keep in mind; the upward trend of Cyberbullying and bullying of any form CAN be stopped, the choice is up to you. Are you strong enough to take a stand?