As I mentioned in my last post, the digital world we live in can be a beautiful place, but there is always a shadow to the light coming from our monitors.
There’s no jokes here. No pop culture references. The cyber bullied, which ranges widely, but is prevalent in middle to high schoolers, are attacked, sometimes anonymously, and damaged so much that they would rather take their own life than face another day of torment. Arbitrary comments can be torn apart and personal accounts can be hacked because some
self-indulgent, garbagey, horrendous, awful person body feels the power to attack whoever they want. Threats damage. Attacks on someone’s weight, religion, gender, appearance, or skill damage. Just because the pain is from a digital environment doesn’t mean that it is less valid.
Unfortunately, with the advent of anything new, there are the ‘strong-willed’ that refuse to believe that words can hurt. As my fourth grade teacher said, “Sticks and stones can break my bones, but words can ALWAYS hurt me.” Words are a weapon that everyone can use, and every weapon has a trigger. We can choose to pull that trigger and it takes great restraint. This restraint is often misinterpreted as being able to ‘suck it up’, but it goes beyond that. If the problem was people being too thick-skinned then CHILDREN would not be taking their own lives. If the problem was being too careful then people would not be dying.
There’s no easy way to approach the subject of what constitutes bullying because everyone has different levels of tolerance and different definitions. For example, someone with (racist, misogynist, misandrist, ableist, homophobic, xenophobic, theophobic, atheophobic) tendencies will act in a way that they deem suitable while others would deem it intolerant.
As cliche as it sounds, the first step is respect. Different people are different. Understanding that and respecting that is paramount to make this new frontier of digitized life a just one.
“Great ambition, unchecked by principle or the love or glory, is an unruly tyrant.” -Alexander Hamilton
Let’s all do our part to make this New World a beautiful one and not allow it to evolve into a tyrannical one.