Thursday 11 July 2013

Cyberbullying, you're a real jerk.

Is anyone immune to cyber bullying these days? It doesn't seem like it. With the awesome perks that come with social media and the internet: making connections that wouldn't have been possible, making friends across the world, sharing your interests with people farther than your city, etc.,  there comes a major downfall: bullying. I know, I'm certainly not the pioneer in bringing this up, but I've had it. When I was in grade 5, and trust me when I say I will never forget this day, I was cyber bullied. I came home from a normal day at school, sat down to my computer, and there were 5 emails from my "friends" - this is when hotmail was basically brand new, and getting emails were everything. Needless to say, 5 emails? I was a freaking rockstar! Not quite. Every single email told me they didn't want to be my friend anymore. I remember not wanting my mom to see me react (our computer was in the family room), so I went upstairs to my room and just sobbed. Sobbed the way you do when your heart has been broken. I finally went down and cuddled with her and continued to sob as I couldn't understand what I had done, said, or not done to cause this. And you know what happened the next day? Those girls acted as though nothing wrong had been done. They told me someone else had put them up to it, and shrugged off a "sorry Bri", like it was nothing. Why could they do this? Because they sat behind a screen and gained a whole lot of confidence in doing so. They wouldn't have had the guts to say it to my face, and they didn't. But their acts ruined my self-esteem and the confidence in myself, where it stayed ruined for a long time. There was no reason for it. It was mean.

My heart breaks for celebrities, because the hurt I felt by the actions of 5 people? They feel it by 5 million. We see it all the time, be it on Facebook posts, gossip sites, etc. But today was my breaking point. I was on Facebook today, and GAP had posted an album of bloggers who wore the brand's clothes, and were highlighting how each individual styled it. Well, what do you know, little miss anonymous no one from who knows where decides to comment how "ugly" this girl's outfit is, or how "over done, gross," this girl's outfit is. Excuse me!? Who are you to decide whether or not that girl's style is good/bad/chic? Because it isn't your taste? Or because it's not your taste, and you don't have to see that girl's face when you tell her she looks awful. I cannot tell you how many times I have commented on threads like this for the sole purpose of saying, "Hey you know what, what you're saying is not kind and maybe you should keep opinions to yourself." When did we become a society who feels entitled to say anything that comes out of our mouths? That if we have an opinion, it is necessary to be heard? Because the same consequences don't apply that do in "real life"? Because we won't see the hurt in the person's face, so obviously it is okay to do so? It is not okay. I am terrified for when I have kids, because one quick scan on what kids say to each other over Instagram pictures and my heart hurts, knowing the pain that little one is going to feel reading these comments, and knowing I can't fix it, just as my mom couldn't fix it for me. We as a society need to change, we need to practice being kind to one another, and re-evaluate our morals. Are the days of "if you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all" gone? I really hope not. Everyone has their bad days, and I am not standing here on a soapbox telling you I never have my snarky days, but I'll be damned if I don't try to spend every day being kind to the people I interact with, and being nice, even if that's not what is given to me in return. Why? Because I know how it feels, and I would never want to be responsible for someone else feeling that way because of my actions. Quite bluntly, I would never forgive myself.

I don't know where I am going with this, I just know I needed to voice my thoughts. I do know that I for one am sick of how we treat each other, and it's only going to get worse unless we make a daily, conscious effort to change it. My one hope and wish and prayer in life is that my future generations don't have to live with this, they don't have to endure the heartbreak that comes with bullying. I think of my nieces and nephew, and the thought that they one day might be hurt in this way, and I just want to cry. I want to protect them and save them from ever dealing with it, but I can't. I can only hope we raise our future generations with the ideal that being kind wins over being mean, and being a helping hand is always the best decision. And for those who argue that bullying helps kids develop a thick skin, you may be a little bit right. I think what I went through taught me a lot of who I am and who I want to be in this one life I'm given, but man it would have been much easier to learn some other way.

kindness~Thank you for listening, I'm going to get off of my soapbox now.


1 comment:

  1. Great post Bri!! Have to say I have the same fears ever since I had my daughter only 6 short weeks ago already You simply cannot protect them from everything but we can teach them to be kind. Again, I applaud you and your soap box. Well said.