Being on the Internet makes you feel stronger. More powerful. Because you’re anonymous. They can’t touch you. Ever.
So someone uploaded a video to YouTube complaining about that great movie you loved. That doesn’t mean you have to post a comment saying that the uploader of the video is a “retard” and “doesn’t know what he’s talking about.” It’s better not to put anything at all. Yet, you cannot say that you have never done something of the like. Maybe you unfriended someone on Facebook or disliked a video. Perhaps you made a sarcastic remark, not realizing who might see it. It is within the bounds of imagination that you even wrote a kind comment that others might identify as sarcasm.
And yet there is another, worse way of cyberbullying.
You see on a website that someone has posted an insensitive, rude comment, and you think to yourself how much of a bully that person is; however, you do nothing, merely go on to the next page. As with real bullying, bystanders often wield more power than the bullies themselves.
So how can we stop cyberbullying?
Cyberbullying is real, and it will be around for as long as we have technology. It can cause depression. It can cause suicide.
Think before you write. If you have nothing nice to say, don’t say anything at all. Realize that nothing on the Internet can ever be private. If you’re just sharing a joke between friends, it could very well turn into a nasty conversation that hurts everyone. Be mindful. Use the “report” button wisely—if you see an inappropriate comment, report it. Keep track of the behavior of your friends and family. Never hesitate to ask. Don’t forward “funny” emails and text messages without thinking. Don’t dislike something for no reason. And never, ever be a bystander. Write something nice.
It’s up to you and me to stop cyberbullying.
What are you doing about it?