I read an article the other day that talked about how spending too much time on “Social media” can lead to depression…..this got me thinking about so many situations, frustrations, good times etc…. All attached to social media…This blog is going to be a 2 part. In part one I’m going to discuss 2 points that I don’t think are often discussed when online bullying is brought up. Second blog will be the positive sides to social media!
First let’s explore the negatives, I like ending on a positive note! ….there is the obvious the “cyber bullying” most people I talk to at one time or another have been a victim of bullying online. It’s sad and seems to be getting worse. This is real concern for me with Peyton, while I don’t excuse any bullying, I know kids, especially special needs kids, can have the hardest time dealing with bullies. Everyone always makes the comment…bullies are just insecure people…yes we know this..but it doesn’t make the hurt and pain less. I have found that many of the bullies are also people who tend to live in a delusional world. I have seen people who were bullies online, also have truly “online fantasy lives” They live on estates, they drive mid 6 figure cars, they own stables of horses, have/had unbelievable careers, are experts on EVERY subject etc….most people just chuckle and laugh at these people. I view it a bit different, as I have also seen many of these people be some of the biggest online bullies. My theory on it is, they are so unhappy they have to make up the “perfect” life and are afraid of exposure. While most of us know to ignore or just be amused by these people, many special needs kids and adults will take them at face value. Ask questions etc…this can and many times does unleash bullies to attack…I wish when people see bullies they would speak up, block and show support for the person who is being bullied. Since many of the bullies have built their “online lives” on fantasy, having reality called out on them may result in either they leave social media or stop.
Another group that I haven’t quite figured out is those who nonstop tweet at someone..it can be a celebrity, athlete etc…. Most of the time they get next to no response from the person, yet they seem to need this attention. It’s not only odd to me, it’s frustrating. I have a couple of thoughts..one, why not spend that time and or energy supporting a “cause” and help get the word out instead of bordering on cyberstalking. These people also many times bully others who do happen to tweet that the same person, as they seem to feel they “own” this persons time…I feel bad for people on the receiving end of the tweets as well. Many times they want to interact with many people,but that can almost be impossible. I’ve seen autistic teens and adults tweet at “celebrities” and then get bullied for doing so.. this really bothers me. I’ve actually gotten involved to show support.
I’ve heard people say, then just get off of social media… but I don’t think that’s the solution. Sometimes it’s a valuable outlet for people. Not only from a business standpoint, but also an outlet for some who don’t have much outlet. Such as special needs, elderly etc…. I think the solution should involve in not giving bullies a platform. If people would block, unfollow or even call out bullies maybe it can make a difference. In my blog next week, I’ll discuss the positives to social media. There are so many positive things, sometimes they just seem to be outweighed by the negatives.