For over 100 years, we have been using the phrase “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.” It wasn’t true then and it’s not true now. Today’s topic is about cyberbullying. My name is Devon Michael O’Connor. I am a fourth generation resident of Whitestone and am the president of a local civic association and co-owner of a children’s birthday party center in Whitestone. As someone who has grown up in the age of computers, I find that social media and online networking is vital to successfully running and promoting a business and is the chosen means of communicating by the public at large. Unfortunately, where there is a positive, a negative is not far behind which brings me to cyberbullying.
What is cyberbullying? Cyberbullying is the use of information and communication technologies to support deliberate, repeated and hostile behavior by an individual or group that is intended to harm others. In my personal opinion, these spineless insecure individuals who prey on those they believe are weak, are in fact, weak themselves. They hide behind a shield that is cyberspace and use it to speak their hurtful opinions without expressing it face to face.
The use of these hate-filled words have been proven to be even more damaging than personal confrontation alone. These “cyber bullies” are out to do one thing and that is to humiliate their victims by posting their opinions of them on the internet for the world to see. They may however fail to realize that once it’s up, it’s up. It becomes public domain that just can’t be erased no matter whether they feel regret or not. With one hurtful post, comes many more when others find the abuse amusing and feel they need to add to it. It is a never ending cycle of pain and humiliation that can – and often has – lead to self -inflicted harm or even suicide.
Is there a resolution? Probably not, but we can gain a form of control by looking out for each other. If you read or witness any form of bullying whether cyber, physical or verbal, take a stand. A bully’s strength is always someone’s weakness, but our combined strength can hopefully make cyberbullying a thing of the past. Let’s talk about it. I look forward to your comments on my blog.