Cyber-bullying: It’s a problem
September 9, 2009 § 4 Comments
The Internet is a scary place…and it’s all our fault.
I had this post as a draft for about a week now but couldn’t find the words to adequately express how I felt. I still don’t think I can express myself eloquently, but I think it’s high time to finish this post.
If you follow kpop like me (yes- I’m so embarrassed to admit), you will already know how cruel the internet community can be towards celebrities. The kpop community is currently all abuzz with the recent Jay Park from 2PM scandal.
But that is nothing compared to the countless number of celebrities who ended up committing suicide due to vicious cyber attacks, supported by nothing but fabrications. There lies the fact that people just need to not be so sensitive to comments of people who don’t even know them. However for celebrities whose livelihoods depend on public opinion, I can understand why that would be such a devastating experience. Although it still isn’t a reason to commit suicide, the magnanimity does not escape me. But in the end, you as an individual give weight to what matters in your life and you can make the decision not to let one event affect your life to that extent. My mom would insert something about God here but I will refrain. =)
Anyway, thats not what this post is about. It’s about cyber-bullying.
I wasn’t prompted to write this post based on the comments made within the kpop (or really, any culture) community. Nope, this prompt was incited by a much more personal experience.
About a week ago I received a hate comment on this very blog. My first one! Hehe. It was interesting for many different reasons. First, I always thought I was too pc to be interesting but also, too pc to really offend anyone. Second, considering most of my readers are my friends and family, I didn’t think they would write anything too mean (you know, besides, “I need Photoshop to look good, am lame, boring, etc.” lol). And third, although it was an unflattering comment, I was flattered that someone I didn’t know in person was reading the blog. Oh and fourth, it was confusing because I still don’t know what they were so offended about. But yeah.
OH DUDE! IF SOMEONE I KNEW WROTE THAT COMMENT, YOU ARE DEAD! *angelic smile*
I usually don’t write profanities on this blog but I quote:
“you are a massive moron. you should re-read what you have written. if, having read through your post, you cannot identify why you’re a moron, then the sensible thing for you to do is to kill yourself.
fucking gap-mouthed castrate.
WOW. Really anonymous commenter?
If you ever come back: I re-read what I wrote but I couldn’t identify why I was a moron. Do I have your permission to kill myself now?
Hehe. Oh, by the way, if you’re a well meaning and curious friend or relative, don’t ask about specifics because I won’t tell. It’s really not worth dredging up (besides for the purposes of this post). Okay, back to the post.
I will admit, at first I was a little offended and angry but now I’m over it. I am always surprised that people think it’s okay to write things like that. Not only because it’s rude and not nice, but because cyber-bullying is a real issue and there are laws regarding acts like these. People actually get jail time for doing things like this. One has to be extremely dense not to realize that these comments are traceable. Wordpress tracks the IP addresses of commentors so I knew that if I really wanted to pursue this matter, it was as simple as handing that over to the police to track the individual. But I chose not to. Instead, I chose to write this.
This was not my only brush with the uglier side of the internet community. Take the gaming community for example: a notoriously boy dominated internet society. When I first started playing on Battlenet, I would get really upset about the sexist and racist comments being made right and left. I got into a lot of fights with Allan about it because he didn’t even seem to care. His take was, “don’t let stupid people bother you,” but it did. And I don’t believe that belittling those who belittle you is the answer. It may offer momentary peace of mind but it doesn’t stop the cycle. The gaming community is quite a conundrum though because the sweetest boys will turn into male chauvinists with the click of a mouse. They know that such behavior is not condoned in the real world so they use places like Battlenet as outlets for their more animalistic sides. *sigh*
I dislike myself sometimes because I am too empathetic. Because of my coursework in psychology, I know how much affects us humans on both a conscious and unconscious level, leaving me to wonder how much do we really have control over? But in the end I believe that a person should be able to control one’s actions, no matter how unrestrained their thoughts may be. Unless they don’t want to participate in the existing social contract. Then by all means. Go wild.
But I digress once again. Back to cyber-bullying. It shocks me how people are so cruel and judgemental with their comments, without the necessary filters that common decency standards require.
Why do people think it’s okay to type something they would never say to a person’s face? I will admit, not all criticism is undeserved. However, I also believe there is a time and place to say things. What’s the point of spewing profanities into the cyberverse? What is the point?? I feel like people always function under the illusion that once they make someone’s life worse, their life will get better, but that rarely happens. Usually people just feel guilty when they get what they asked for. I know not everyone lives with the intent to make a positive difference in this world but even at a personal, very selfish level- why expend unneccessary energy?
I know we have free speech, and it’s a right that I currently work to promote throughout the world, but I also believe that people need to take responsibility for their actions. You want to go tell someone to die over the Internet? Fine, that’s your choice. But then you better be willing to accept the consequences, be it jail time, a lifetime’s worth of guilt, hate from other commentors, etc. People think it’s okay to just say anything on the internet because they think there are no consequences, but there are!
And be nice. =)