Unfortunately, though completely my fault, my previous post lost its intended message in the backstory. I did not intend to write a post about celebrities famous for behaving badly or even to start a commentary on the on the right or wrong of infidelity ( for the record it’s always wrong but that can be another post). I merely wanted to start a conversation about how social media allows people to say things that in a normal situation they would keep to themselves. I wanted to discuss how on sites like Twitter, normal average people can simply turn into the most vicious type of bully. The anonymity of hiding behind a computer screen seems to bring out the most hateful side to some peoples personalities. The example I gave in the last post involving those particular celebrities was just that, an example. There are millions of examples of people on Twitter and other social media sites attacking one another and saying the most horrific things. I have seen people encourage someone to take their own lives. I have seen people bring God into the issue and state that the person shouldn’t be allowed to have children simply because that person is outspoken or dresses a certain way. I have seen people threaten physical violence against others and make the most offensive, racial, homophobic and derogatory remarks to each other, all from the safety of their own home. It’s mind blowing! This type of behavior is cowardly and cruel. I’m not saying each and every one of us hasn’t had a nasty thought about someone else from time to time but society usually dictates that we use a little bit of discretion and keep our thoughts to ourselves. Most of us realize that these thoughts that we’re having, if spoken, are probably not going to reflect very well on ourselves for one, going to cause pain to the other person that we can’t take back and that we may change our mind five minutes later so if we’ve spoken those words we may regret it. These commonsense barriers between the thoughts and the spoken word seem to cease once you’re in front of the keyboard. There seems to no longer be any fear of repercussion or care or concern about the fact that the person receiving your comment is just that, a person. Guaranteed these people railing against celebrities online wouldn’t have the courage to walk up to that celebrity and speak their mind the way they do behind a keyboard.
There’s been so much talk lately about bullying, And I think most of us when we hear that word, bullying, we envision children. Sadly, the simple truth is adults bully each other all the time. Adults can be bullied at work, at sporting events , pretty much in any aspect of life but the latest trend in online bullying takes it to a whole other level. Things that would rarely be said in person are said in the most vulgar and hurtful manner. The bully feels completely justified in commenting and I quite often see them stating that they have the right to their opinion. There is no remorse when confronted about their actions, just angry justification. While this may be true, they do have the right to their own opinion, they do not have the right to inflict that kind of pain and another human being. They do not have the right to threaten, demean or attack another person. I can’t imagine how overwhelming it would be to be the one person who has hundreds of people saying these horrible things to them and delighting in their pain . All the while for the whole world to see.
I wish it was it is simple as having the rest of the world stand up to these bullies online and tell them that their actions are wrong but sadly I’ve seen that happen too and it isn’t well-received. It isn’t a Disney ending to the story where the bad guy realizes he’s done something terrible, apologizes and tries to make it right. No, usually the story goes more like, the bad guy then gets some backers who have the same opinion, the group then gangs up on, threatens and harasses the person who was standing up for what is right. It then snowballs until there can’t be one single person involved who feels good about themselves or the situation. How is this good for our society? How is this good for mankind as a whole? What is the solution? Should law-enforcement step in and start prosecuting people for online bullying more vigilantly? Should issuing threats be taken more seriously by the police? Or is the problem much deeper and basically a deep set flaw in the human psyche, something that simple punishment can’t cure.