Are You A Cyberbully?


Why do people feel it is alright to bully online?

I constantly hear how teens are bullying online and their actions need to be stopped. I completely agree, but I think adults need to also look at their own actions.

I don’t see adults going on another individual’s account and degrading them as often as I do teenagers. However, almost on a daily basis I see adults bullying through private groups or with the reply feature of comments that differ from their own. Name calling, cussing, sarcastic memes, and hurtful accusations are all brought out as arsenal.

When another person has a differing opinion than your own, do you really believe that person will be willing to have an open heart and mind if you create a full on assault against them?

What’s the old proverb? “You catch more flies with honey than you do with vinegar.”

I get it, I’m part of a lot of crunchy groups were things like circumcision, car seat safety, vaccines, and breastfeeding are very heated topics of discussion. My own social media circle is extremely diverse, with people who could be classified as liberal, conservative, homosexual, transgender, Christian, Buddhist, Pagan, agnostic, etc., causing LGTB, abortion, and marijuana use to be extremely controversial subjects.

I get the need to stand up for your own world view or pointing out possible harm that can come to another individual. What I’m not agreeing on is how people go about trying to accomplish this. Personally, if I’m going to comment against a completely different opinion, I’m going to do it in hopes of making some difference, even if they only take away one little piece of information that can get them thinking and doing their own research.

If I were to start telling them how horribly wrong they are, that they are a bad person, belittling them, and making them go on the defensive, I’m not going to accomplish my goal. They aren’t going to take in a single word I say. They are only going to feel attacked and not like they can have an open, calm, and respectful dialogue.  If the person has an aggressive personality they will attack back, if they have a passive personality, like me, they will most likely back off and probably unfollow the post after the first few hurtful comments are made towards them.

Let’s all try to show some compassion and patience. If you absolutely can’t say anything nice or in a caring way, then don’t say anything at all. It isn’t worth it starting an online fight, which is only going to end with hurt feelings. Before you send anything, read what you have wrote and pretend you were the one receiving that information. Would you be willing to consider the information and further discuss the differing opinion, or would you go on the defensive? Don’t be the cyber bully. Be mature and respectful, even if a differing opinion or action has you upset.

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