Recent events have inspired me to speak up, or rant, rather, about how social media has evolved and how it is actually re-wiring our thought process.
See this article for what I mean : ( and yes, there are many others and some to disprove this theory, but I’m writing this to just point out what I’ve noticed in my own life).
social media article
Obviously social media is a current tool that most of us use for various reasons. I’m an addict like most others (clearly I’m writing this blog right now). We are entitled to complain, post foodie Instagram pics, tag our friends, etc… However, because of a recent lecture done at my place of employment, I’ve come to wonder: when are we actually distinguishing between complaining and bullying?
When others consistently mock you, judge your life choices and then make it known on social media, and do it in a blatant way to be hurtful, is this complaining or bullying? Our presenters pointed out that this in, in fact, the behavior of a bully. Teenagers are more prone to this type of behavior, especially teens who maliciously copy others’ posts or hashtags or status updates in a mocking way to let themselves and others know that the person they are mocking is a lesser human being. Our presenters pointed out that this jealousy of mocking others on social media as a form of bullying is unacceptable, and, unfortunately, it isn’t just teens who are the culprits; adults can easily participate in this as well. The presenters explained that most teens (or adults) that use social media as a weapon try to do so in a sneaky or covert way, but the victim recognizes the assault and can feel helpless, especially if it turns from covert to open displays of bullying on the internet. In addition, most of those who revert to this unacceptable behavior were considered “friends” of said “victims.” When has it ever been acceptable to judge another’s lifestyle or choices by mocking them using social media because it doesn’t agree with your viewpoint? I think we confuse stating our opinions and expressions because we don’t think that what we are doing or saying will hurt someone else. But, when it’s done to intentionally hurt others to make you feel better about yourself? That’s bullying, plain and simple.
I’ve started looking at what I post, and I do see some similar aspects in my own life. It’s tough when the realization is made that you may have been bullied online. It’s even more eye-opening when you realize that you may have been a bully online, yourself.
The end result? We need to watch what we post online and worry more about how we can use social media for the positive instead of the negative. It’s definitely wishful thinking, but it’s a thought that I feel I would like to stick to.