Social media providing new medium for bullying

by: JAYCEE CALDWELL/Staff Writer 

Bullying. It is happening every minute of every day.

People used to see bullying only as a physical act. But now it is so much more. Words hurt just as much (if not more) than a punch to the face. Social media is not making it any easier on victims.

More bullies exist now because social media allows people to say things they are afraid to say in person. Posts, tweets, comments, and pictures can lead a victim to emotional distress. Some scenarios are taken so far that it leads to suicide. This is unacceptable, and something needs to be done about it.

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I am disappointed to see what our generation has come to. Social media has created new hobbies for people, and it is sad to say that bullying is one. There is no control, limits, or rules when it comes to bullying. Victims are helpless. It is not like this act is a secret. I know people see it happening every day, and most of those people just sit back and watch it happen. The first problem is bullying. The second is the fact that no one will do anything about it. How much worse does it need to get before this is put to a stop? Is suicide not a good enough reason to do something and at least try to help? Just because there is no physical evidence does not mean someone is hurting inside.

This is not the type of environment I would want my children to grow up in. In fact, I do not want anyone to have to go through pain caused by hateful rumors that are posted online to the public. Even if it is true, I do not feel that anyone has the right to post it publicly. Once something is posted, it never disappears. It is easy to hit the “delete” button. But once it is there, it is always somewhere.

Social networks should be filled with positive words. There is nothing wrong with posting about your day, your new pet, sharing your beliefs, or simply posting a picture with your best friend. All of these things are typical and will most likely never be put to an end. All of this is acceptable because the words or pictures have nothing to do with hurting another person. Share life experiences, not personal feelings about someone else. How would you feel if you found out that your one post caused someone’s suicide? Imagine that number multiplied. Is one tweet, Facebook or Instagram post, or Yak really worth a life?

If you watch bullying happen, I ask you to say something to the person and give your best effort to put a stop to it. If you are a victim of bullying, I encourage you to tell someone about it and try standing up for yourself. Do not retaliate by posting things in response to what your bully said. You are bigger and better than that. Tell someone and get some help. There are people here for you.

If you are the bully, how dare you? It is wrong to put others in pain and cause them to feel insecure, cry, or talk themselves into suicide. Think before you post. Bullying does not make you “cool” or “thug.” It makes you selfish. Switch places with your victim and imagine how he or she feels.

Help me encourage positive posts and create new social media hobbies. Take a stand with me, and STOP BULLYING.