Online bullying, time to Think.

We all hear story’s of online bullying. Scrolling through our feeds there are instances we come across everyday , whether it is someone throwing shade and trying to be sneaky about it ,or someone directly attacking someone for all to see. It’s a common occurrence but it does not make it ok. It happens to people of all ages. School children unable to leave the bullies in the playground as it now follows them home because of today’s technology. It happens to adults also whether its someone from work or social group and sometimes its a complete stranger in an online group you have never even met.

As a community we have to call out bullying behavior in a manor that doesn’t attack but points out the behavior and making it clear it is not ok. Bullying can happen to anyone at anytime online. As a society it seems to be an epidemic on the rise as people hide behind their screens. It removes some of the human factor typing it into a screen rather than doing it in person.

The past few days I have seen 2 major incidents of blatantly attacking someone online. Both instances involve adults. The first incident I read was about Constance Hall. She had a piece written about her by Perth now that had about 1.6 thousand comments attacking her. The admin clearly weren’t caring or monitoring the abuse on their page. She also addressed it on her page calling out the bullying and the fact it’s never ok. She should never have had to do that. The site should have monitored what was going on and been proactive to not support that behavior.

The second instance was in an unexpected place, an online dog group for my dogs breed. I will refer to them as the member and the elitist to protect identity. One member had an oopsie unplanned litter. She by no means planned it. Her female dog was meant to be sterile and shouldn’t have been able to get pregnant. An elitist in the group went on the attack tearing her down trying to link her with puppy farmers and all sorts of nastyness went down across 2 groups. The elitist purposely tried to take down someone that had done nothing wrong. They felt it was their right to try destroy this persons reputation within the group and her self esteem as she is against cross breeds in any situation. The member with the pups responded explaining the situation which was perfectly innocent and the elitist acted like it was her life’s mission to attack this innocent women/stranger for everyone to see. It was a case of online bullying where someone could have scrolled on but instead decided to go on the attack over something that had zero bearing on their life.

When people act this way it says a lot more about the attacker and their sense of entitlement and self importance as they feel they have the right to try attack another. They seem to lack empathy and either don’t understand or care of the possible long term consequences of their actions. They just think they are right so they must say what it takes to damage the other person.

We live in a generation of keyboard warriors hiding behind a screen. It’s not just the younger generation some of the worst cases of online bullying I have seen recently have been from people in their 50s and even 60s. The worlds going mad with self righteousness and the feeling they can say things and attack people online they wouldn’t normally as they don’t have to see the person. They don’t see the tears the sleepless nights of the psychological damage inflicted. They just word vomit nastiness onto their screens then switch off and don’t give a second thought to the person on the other end of those words. There are memes about a generation of people being offended and that they should “toughen up”. Keep in mind 10 or 15 years ago we didnt have smart phones and our issues following us home with no escape or safe place. So why don’t we change people talking about a generation of people being offended, to a generation that thinks before we speak, type a response or comment. So before posting something think …

T – is it true

H – is it helpful

I – is it inspiring

N – is it necessary

K – is it kind

This acronym has been around for a little while and it’s something we should all refer back to before saying something that could potentially cause harm to someone. Being online we either need to THINK or keep in mind we also have the ability to scroll on or have a friendly debate without any venom thrown in. So here’s to a new generation of THINKers xoxo

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