In my last post, I wrote about how people use their cars as masks on the road. While driving, people don’t see people as people, but as annoying roadblocks. This increases road rage and makes the road depressing.
Just how people seem to use their cars as mask, people tend to hide behind their computer screen as they bully people throughout the internet. People don’t see people as human beings on the internet, but as brainless bodies, who are solely capable of ignorant thoughts. They need to be taught a lesson, we say. They are big, mean dumb idiots, we say. For some reason, we think our opinion is the ONLY correct one on the internet.
Being online and reading social threads is quickly morphing into a more negative experience. In fact, according to nobullying.com, 81% of people see cyber bullying as easier to get away with than bullying in person.
This website has other helpful info as well, stating that nearly 43% of children have experienced cyber bullying, 70% of students report seeing frequent bullying online, and 68% of teens agree that cyber bullying is a serious issue.
While these numbers paint a poignant picture, I think cyber bullying may be even more common than these statistics relay. While this website defines cyber bullying as “tormenting, threatening, harassing, or embarrassing another person using the internet or other technologies”, I would like to add “degrading another person” to the list.
I can’t go a single day on social media anymore without seeing somebody degrading another person in the comments of a popular thread. Every single video I watch is poisoned with negative comments. I’ll watch a cute video of a baby and a few comments into the thread will find “You are parenting wrong!” or “Wow, what an ugly baby”. These degrading comments turn into full blown arguments and soon enough, none of the comments have anything to do with the original video. I’ll watch a food video that will turn into rude comments about appearance and body fat percentage. Then I’ll watch a funny cat video that turns into arguments about politics or sexual preference or how to correctly use “there, their, and they’re”. People use social media as a place to put down other people, and many people find it completely exhilarating. What a relief to be able to lash out at people behind the comfortable computer screen mask.
This behavior can’t possibly add any sort of happiness to anybody’s life. In fact, all it does is hurt people. We live in a world where it is becoming normal to mock people online. If we do it in person, we are horrible bullies, but not necessarily if we do it online.
Let me just ask this, if your loved one was the person who made the “controvercial” comment, video, picture, etc, would you do your best to hit them where it hurts and make them feel less than? NO! You’d feel horrible. You would probably just dismiss it, love them anyways, and get on with more important topics- like Comic Con or your next fencing match. So why degrade a stranger?
So, I guess what I’m saying is, let’s all do our best to make social media a happier place to be. Let’s make it a place where we have constructive, uplifting conversations. Let’s keep the anger and the mocking off the computer screen. If you don’t have something nice to type, just don’t type it at all. And if you find yourself reading a negative thread, walk away. Aint nobody got time for that!
You control your happiness and that starts with making your environment uplifting!
So my challenge to you is threefold:
1. Don’t use your computer as a mask. Be kind online and make the cloud a positive place.
2. Stop looking through negative threads on social media. It’s just depressing.
3. Be happy!
See you next post!
- Holly B.