Friday, February 11, 2011

Cyber Bullying

I am often confused by the way people react to cyber bullying. Lately, it has gotten so much attention and so many new Facebook groups have popped up in an attempt to draw awareness and combat the growing trend. It's a little irritating. Cyber bullying is the easiest type of bullying to avoid or stop. You just have to disconnect.

Yes, coming from an internet addict, that's a little rich. However, I do not take cyber bullying seriously. On IMDb or other forums, once someone starts bullying me, I laugh. I am not mean, nor do I deserve to be picked on. Knowing this about myself helps me keep my head above water. I know it's hard in 2011 to delete annoying friends or bullies from your facebook, or to make your privacy settings more strict. I know you want to relate to people online as if they were your friends. Based on my experience, you shouldn't trust anyone online until you've known them for at least 6 months, and even then, you should be wary.

To the parents of cyber bullied children: This is why you should keep your children off the god damn internet. Why are 11 year olds making YouTube videos and friending strangers on Facebook? You are the one to blame for your children committing suicide because you are the one who was negligent in your parenting. First you let them have personal profiles on Facebook or YouTube or Twitter. Then, you never checked their emails or messages or texts. Then you didn't notice changes in their behavior that should have been tell tale signs of depression or suicidal thoughts. And finally, you neglected to figure out why they were depressed.

I know this may seem harsh, but I am not apologetic for it. I was suicidal for many years, and on the internet for many years. My parents did everything they could to get me treatment and disconnect me from the internet. Did they succeed? They did. At least, long enough for the danger to pass. Parents aren't failures when they try their best. I just don't think today's parents are trying hard enough.

I receive anonymous insults every single day over Formspring, and not so anonymous insults via private message on my forums. I don't care. I think it's hilarious. When it comes to cyber bullying, people need to step back, relax, and realize that these bullies are sad, lonely people who are obviously overcompensating for something they lack in their own lives. These are not the types of people you should care about. You shouldn't give a shit about their opinion of you, because obviously their opinions of themselves are not very high either.

And remember: Don't feed the trolls.

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