Hello people of the blogosphere! I am very sorry for not putting up a post last wednesday as scheduled. I had an impromptu interview in another state and have been travelling a lot to submit applications here and there.
Trust me, there are a lot of blog post ideas from my interview and travels that I cant wait to churn out so chill.
For today, Obinna of Shards of Bards has written a beautiful piece about cyberbullying.
Most people have experienced it. Infact, it happened to me only last year shortly before I started this blog. I had not replied a guy’s hi’s and hello’s since 2011 and shut him up when he made a rude comment on my page. He put up my picture on his page with lots of insults about me being too proud, arrogant, not a wife material etc and tagged me. (People are mad)
Well, I thought of cussing him out which I am sure I would have done successfully (Yes. I am a recovering clapback addict).
But I decided to be the bigger person and reported him to facebook. I blocked him too but facebook took about 5 hours to take down the photo. I am sure people would have seen it before it was taken down.
READ, LEARN AND SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS.
I first learnt of online violence in 2010 and learnt of it from life’s presumed greatest teacher — experience.
I was just promoted to my new class, JSS 2, and transferred to another school. In my new school and class, I was very reserved and to an extent, shy. Back then, I was quite effeminate. People said I often walked, talked and laughed like a girl. I didn’t care, until one day when I was using the toilet, and someone deliberately locked the door from outside.
Thing is, I wasn’t the only one locked in the toilet; another boy was with me — an effeminate boy — and for that very reason, I was scared. Scared of what people would think and say. But long story short, at the end of the day, people carried rumours that I was homosexual, and I heard that a senior student had posted my story on Facebook. I didn’t know much about Facebook that time. I only thought of Facebook as a site where people told the world about personal stuff, so when I heard that my story — my false story — had been told to the world, I felt ashamed. I felt naked. Which was why I transferred to another school, months later.
Cyberbullying is something prevalent in women, but this doesn’t mean that men don’t suffer it, too. They do. It’s a general problem. A general challenge. Our world as it is places everyone in different, sensitive classes: religion, race or ethnicity, and gender.
But what about our virtual world? The online world where we’re so absorbed in creating personas that either is or conflicts with our personalities in reality? The online world where we’re seemingly free — from physical harm and reality itself? In this world, are our differences, our classes, are they resolved? Are they nonexistent? Not quite.
Cyberbullying is just as terrible as physical bullying and social media is (or has been) its domain for long. I’m guessing you’re very active on social media so I’ll ask now, have you come across Facebook posts, tweets or blog posts:
Shaming someone’s physical appearance?
Discriminating one’s religious beliefs?
Criticising someone’s sexual orientation?
If you have, then you’ve seen a firsthand display of cyber violence. Unlike physical violence, it almost always revolves around our physical appearance, race and gender orientation.
First, physical appearance. Thin or fat; short or tall. Beautiful or ugly. Pretty simple.
Second, race. White or black; American black or non-American black. American, African, Asian or Hispanic. Somehow complex, yet simpler than the next one.
Lastly, gender orientation. Straight, gay, bisexual, transgender, lesbian, or queer. A very sensitive table to shake, aye? Well, I won’t digress, don’t worry.
I’ve seen and heard of many victims of cyberbullying. I’ve seen people threaten other people on social media. I’ve seen people reveal very personal details and information about others on Facebook.
I’ve seen people post screenshots of the PRIVATE conversations they’d had with other people, just to publicly shame them. I’ve seen people upload nude pictures of women to embarrass them, and taint their public image. I’ve seen biased blog posts blindly criticising a certain religion based on hearsay. I’ve seen people organising online campaigns, calling for the heads of a couple involved in a same-sex relationship. I’ve seen all fifty shades of cyberbullying!
Maybe these are “too serious” examples. Have you seen someone embarrassing another person on social media for having very few post likes and comments? What about grammar and language? Have you seen people shame others because they’re illiterate or bad at speaking English? I have.
Two days ago, I saw someone put up a picture of a girl in my neighbourhood, telling the public how her sexual immorality had now made her a teenage mom.
Many people believe cyberbullying is nothing serious. Would you believe me if I told you that I’d considered suicide because of that incident? Cyberbullying can do more damage than physical violence, believe me. It can lead to depression and anxiety, and can make one feel inferior. Naked. Cyberbullying can ALWAYS incite physical harm!
I’m stronger than I was ten years ago and more mature. And I don’t think I would ever consider suicide if someone shames me publicly on social media today, but that’s ME. Not everyone has that will power.
Like every other negative trend, online violence will sadly tarry with us for a long time, which begs the questions:
Why do people derive joy in shaming and/or threatening people online?
- Is it because of the anonymity the internet provides them?
- Is it because the people they’re shaming make them feel insecure?
- Is it just sheer ignorance?
Please share your thoughts and/or experiences in the COMMENT SECTION.
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Thank me later❤❤❤