Dear Cyberbullies, Please Stop
By: Candice Zhang
How is quarantine treating you?
Being online all-day must finally feel like a dream come true. Alright, yes, our lives have changed after the beginning of March when quarantine started. Meeting face-to-face has become virtually impossible, which led many of us to indulge most of our free time on social media and other internet-related activities. Nowadays, keeping up with friends is easier than ever. Technology is at the tip of our fingertips on a daily basis.
However, beneath the superficial convenience and efficiency of digital technology, an ugly truth emerges. And for those of you who are reading my letter, I will finally tell you what this ugly truth is about. Just two hints though: it’s not about a breakup or hookup. But what it is about, is the gossip and verbal harassment that occurs in virtual environments.
If you have ever trashed a person online, do you ever look back at the mistakes you made from your actions? Regardless of how that individual has treated and/or perceived you, attacking them online is just super unnecessary. Nowadays, the rates of such despicable behaviours are starting to increase. Reports indicate that over 87% of young people have witnessed cyberbulling, and this is not OK.
“Oh, but it’s just a way for me to vent out my emotions” You may say. Well, please excuse yourself. Feeling the need to vent does not always mean that you should expose your feelings in public. Since you are framing an individual online and talking trash about them, your actions may look foolish and immature for other people. Keep in mind that some people aren’t stupid; they know that you aren’t venting but choosing to attack an innocent individual.
If you can’t tell your problems to a person’s face and choose to complain behind a screen, people are going to realize that you aren’t a reliable person to hang out with. In fact, there is a term for it. After cyberbullying someone you know, you aren’t just only being a coward, but a snake. Seriously, no one can talk to someone who wears a ‘nice-person’ mask to hide beneath their ugly personalities.
Honestly, these actions can actually harm a person’s mental and physical health. Imagine if the person you are talking about finds your statements online and reads them. Although you may despise this person and care less about their emotions, realize that your action may perpetuate a cycle of self-harm and doubt. The survivor will constantly feel depressed, overwhelmed, and mentally exhausted. And they feel this way because of you.
Alright, when you tell me that you dislike this person and you don’t care, I just want to tell you to put yourselves in their shoes. Yes, it is hard to imagine this situation but ask yourself: ‘What will I do when someone cyberbullies me?’ and ‘How will I feel when they do that?’ The truth will penetrate your heart, but it isn’t enough to open your eyes to the repercussions.
What we don’t realize is that there are so many ongoing situations involving cyberbullying. Just look at Amanda Todd, Mallory Grossman, Channing Smith, and Tyler Clementi. They don’t deserve to have experienced the situation they went through, and they all passed away at such a tender age. However, their experience with cyberbullying was way too overwhelming, leaving their hearts and minds with deep scars.
Therefore, cyberbullying is more than just venting online. This online conversation is not even about being critical of others, but is outright bogus and unfair. Some individuals who have experienced cyberbullying did nothing wrong, yet you bully continue to act and accuse them for something. Before I end this letter, I want to tell you to stop humiliating and grow up. The internet has no room for children to fight with each other.
If that letter wasn’t enough for you, wait for the others.
To be continued and not sincere,
The Cyberbullied Survivors.