I think people are over-sensitive about cyber bullying. Everytime I watch some presentation about it, I see things that happen to me on the internet 5 times a day.
Someone on the internet calls you a “*************************” because you disagree with his opinion on the new Generic Shooter 16: Nuke Edition =/= Cyberbullying
That’s not to say it doesn’t exists, but those teachers, parents, whoever is making those anti-cyber bullying campaigns are targeting a completely wrong thing.
I think that’s the issue we face with any issue that arises due to technological advancement: there’s a period where we’re not sure how to handle it or what aspects of the issue to focus on.
People don’t take cyberbullying seriously often times because they think of someone flaming them for liking brie instead of Camembert which happens to basically everyone who becomes involved in any online community at some point in their online career (like I said in the Random Thought or Bitching thread, the anger is strong even on this tiny slice of the internet). Stuff like consistent emotional abuse or death threats or doxxing or brigading and SWATing or any of that stuff is pretty harmful. But efforts against online bullying aren’t focused enough just yet for it to be taken seriously as an actual issue (much like mental health in general).
The thing we old guard (and I’m not even old yet) may not realize, is that the filthy Millennials these days all grew up in a post-smartphone world, where being connected is just something that is. The majority of us here all grew up playing outside without our heads down staring at all of the data in the entire world in our hands. It’s easier for us to say “Hey just turn it off and go outside”, because we’re relics of a time when disconnecting was easy because we weren’t connected in the first place. Shit, even I find that hard to do sometimes.
A lot of kids these days get a Facebook account in middle school, and kids are shitty to one another. I mean at least people our age in school (I was homeschooled, but I can extrapolate) could go home and watch Voltron or some shit and not worry about bullies until the next day, but now kids are bullied at school and then go home to watch whatever goofy anime on their computer and the bullies are shooting them nasty messages on Facebook or something, and this is doubly worse for introverted people (like myself) who tend to find comfort online - when your comfort zone becomes hostile, where do you go then? War has changed, and disconnecting never occurs to them because they’ve always been hooked up to something, and god knows their parents (people our age) often have a tough time putting down the phone or the computer or whatever so they don’t learn to, either.
So it’s never really as easy as “stop people from bullying” or “make a safe space where people with dissenting opinions are banned” or “parent better” or even “just toughen up.” It’s kinda an amalgam of all of those things. Except the safe space one. That’s a ridiculous notion because the world can be a mean place and hiding from it does not serve you.
Now that’s a good write up.
I was mostly bullied for being too sensitive. Being too ‘gay.’ Being too much the guy with his heart on his sleeves. And let’s face it. I was a bully’s dream. A nice soft target who mostly hung out with girls and so had a weakness ready to pitch at. But back me into a corner and I’m a wolverine. I can be a shit-kicker too. Years of practice made me figure that sitting out every fight wasn’t a good strategy. So now I sort of sail into the wind a bit. I don’t mind getting razzed or hassled. I don’t have a problem with a good tease. And I sure as hell lost all sense of sensitivity over hanging out with girls 😉
But I never lost having my heart on my sleeves. I never lost that habit of checking out the room for the guy lowest on the ladder. Or they guy taking more than his share of piling on.
Because that guy used to be me.
(Yeah. They guy who signs his name. Both top and bottom. Because I must think a guy’s forgetful.
Or maybe a habit I picked up on another forum with bad formatting problems, hey? ;-p )