Just like most every other form of social contact, bullying has advanced over the years. Conversations, dates, and relationships can be produced over the Internet. Well, so can bullying. The victims of bullying used to be able to run away from it if they weren't strong enough to stand up to it. In today's technological world, however, that does nothing to help except to escape the direct contact. Rumors can be spread even faster by the many social websites that exist. A person may get on the Internet to check on what's going on in a friend's life and find that their whole world has been turned upside down and they didn't even know it. An entire hate conversation could be revealed with one click. The Internet isn't even needed in some cases. Almost everyone has a cell phone, and it takes hardly any time to type out an angry text. A tiny spark of vengeance can develop into a leaping blaze of malice in a matter of moments. In less than a day, that fire can envelop the victim's entire life, just because someone was jealous or insecure. Sure, maybe the victim had said or done something first, but nobody deserves that treatment. No one deserves to be cast out by their very own peers who are supposed to support them. I have been bullied my entire life. It started simply because I had taught myself how to read and was the only one who could. As I grew up, I grew immune. I was one of the lucky ones for getting to the point where it didn't bother me before it could find me at home. Most victims of bullying just can't overcome it, and now it's able to follow them everywhere. Home should be safer than anywhere else, a haven from the sorrows of the rest of the world. Sadly, that isn't true today. One of the worst things is the urge to follow those conversations about yourself. Now, that's only too easy. You don't have to hide around a corner to overhear people talking. All you have to do is flip open a phone or switch on a computer. Some watch the conversation so closely that they don't realize that they're starting to wonder if it's all true. That feeling of being so worthless lasts long after you look away. The effects from regular bullying can fade over time. The bruises heals and the words are forgotten. The words shared by cyberbullying are stuck on the Internet forever for people to look back on and feel terrible about. We all live here together. Can't we build each other up instead of tearing each other down?
July 5, 2012