In today’s cruel Internet world, if you participate in social media at all then you’ve likely participated (in one way or another) in cyberbullying.
And Web Watch isn’t even talking about the overly mean, news-worthy levels of pure, unadulterated hatred that should never happen to anybody, at anytime, anywhere, ever. Just posting angry messages about anonymous people with bad driving habits, or Instagramming photos of unusual hair styles or clothing choices — those also could be counted under the generic CYBERBULLY tag.
Web Watch was in a grocery store recently, when we saw a customer walking through the aisles with her hair stacked up on her head and a baseball cap perched precariously atop the towering threads. It was not a good look on her, nor would it be a good look on anybody. Why a baseball cap instead of a hair wrap? We may never know the answer. But she was confident in what she was wearing, and Web Watch applauds her for this.
But it was the giggling teenage girl that was following this proud, unsuspecting woman that got our attention. The girl was trying to get a picture of this unusual attire with her cellphone, no doubt to post that photo on her “Look at the silly person” list online, in order to have all her friends chime in with mocking commentary.
And that’s something that could easily be avoided if people only started using social media for good rather than evil.
That is, at least, the story behind the STUDY ABOUT FACEBOOK AND CYBERBULLYING that says that 87% of all cyberbullying activity takes place on Facebook.
Compare this to just 20% of cyberattacks being done via Twitter, and you can see why Facebook just encourages this type of mean behavior.
It’s even worse if you’re a 19-year-0ld male, who is the most common cyberbully target.
The takeaway of this? Just stop using Facebook. Social media may be touted as a two-way street (that’s the “social” of “social media”), but cyberbullying is one-way communication with a single, cruel intent. Easiest way to avoid it is to just not give those mean-spirited people the opportunity to do so.