Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Online Bullying

... is a cancer and a plague in our modern, technologically rich but spiritually bereft, society. IT DOESN'T GO AWAY IF YOU WALK AWAY. Repeat that a hundred times or tweet it or whatever. BULLYING DOESN'T GO AWAY IF YOU WALK AWAY. It just spreads and grows, exactly like a cancer.

You may wish to see people take the high road. You may wish to see people go with the flow and let it go. And that's all well and good. But it doesn't always work. At it's most horrible extreme, bullying results in genocide (Nazis, Khmer Rouge, Jihadists, anyone?). In its less lethal forms, bullying still results in a kind of  death: a death of fellowship, respect, consideration, good feeling, humanity... LOVE. Bullying is the deliberate targeting of another human being or group of human beings for an outpouring of negativity and/or scapegoating. It says the perpetrators feel shitty and want someone else to share their misery.

Bullying MUST be deflected. You must put up your defensives and protect yourself and/or your loved ones. Doing NOTHING is not an option. Doing NOTHING feeds the monster and absolutely ensures that some other soul is next in line. Standing up to bullying is like holding up a mirror to Medusa. Standing up to bullying is the only way to end it.

Yes, the title of this post is Online Bullying, because that is where it seems to me otherwise right-thinking, educated adults feel they can hide and act like malicious children with impunity. The power of social media is such that any negative, hurtful, plain old mean act is magnified exponentially (and the same is true of positive acts) along with peoples' egos and lack of conscience, decorum, and respect for others. People do and say things in an online environment that we know they wouldn't dream of doing in a face-to-face social encounter.

This is OUR technology and OUR media. Let's start teaching those who don't yet seem to know them the rules in this high-tech playground.

Zero freaking tolerance, people. ZERO.