Any lowkey social media addicts in the room?
I pretty much live on social media and back in the day, when social media was just starting up it was a good thing. I set up a Twitter account in my year 8 ICT class as part of the lesson’s assignment. That’s how harmless it was at the time.
Fast forward 10 years and social media has funded livelihoods, brought loved ones together again, sparked marriages and connected friends but is also the breeding ground for major cyberbullying.
If you asked me if whether I was a bully, I’d jump right out and say NOPE. There’s no one I hate or want to make fun of. But on social media, it’s easy to take the role of a bully for people you don’t even know.
A stranger slips in an, admittedly, really funny way and it gets caught on camera. Ends up on imJustBait 2 days later. Then there’s 1000’s of comments underneath laughing and comparing their trip to other funny moments. You get the video and you repost on your story with “LOOOOOOOOL OMG”
Would you call that bullying?
Khloe Kardashian posts a new selfie and it’s evident her face looks a lot different than it looked 3 months ago. You want to show everyone that there must be something she’s done to her face so you Google an old image of her & put it side by side. You send your tweet. It goes viral somehow. “Khloe Kardashian” is trending 3 hours later. Everyone’s tweeting their opinions on her “new face” and cosmetic surgery.
Is this Cyberbullying?
Cyberbullying includes sending, posting, or sharing negative, harmful, false, or mean content about someone else. It can include sharing personal or private information about someone else causing embarrassment or humiliation.
Everyone knows that making mean comments or posting content about people you know is bullying but we forget that those same actions about strangers can produce the same harmful effect. In some cases, Cyberbullying can break the law. It’s that serious.
This isn’t to point fingers but we all have to take moments to reflect on whether our actions are harmful to people-those we know and those we don’t. On social media especially, ask yourself before you send that snap or tweet ‘do I need to share this or can I just keep it to myself?’
There have been many times when I have to unlike, unfollow a page or un RT something because I realise I don’t need to publicly agree with or comment on something that could make someone else upset. There are times when we can all do this more.
Walk in kindness as much as you can.
If you think you’re being cyberbullied please reach out to us or have any more questions about this topic & want some help then message us on the webchat Wednesdays 4-6PM or DM us on Instagram!