Is The Anonymity Of The Internet Creating Bullies?
This is a subject that is close to my heart for I have been bullied on the internet and know how ugly it can be. But my question is….does this hiding behind the monitor help create these bullies or are they already there? School bullying has always been here it seems, but now that we have all this technology and people can do things without anyone knowing who they are, are the monsters coming out of the woodwork? There seems to be no age limit either on who is a bully and who is not.
Pappy Boyington said in his is novel about his life as a POW that we all have it in us to be mean or cruel. That was a sobering thought for me but I think given the right circumstances, he is probably right. Most people just don’t get that way because there are not in a position of having too much power or whatever. I mean think about it, cops have lost control with prisoners that acted out so bad…when their adrenalin was pumping from chasing them or wrestling with them to subdue them, teachers have lost control of students who were out of control, parents have lost control with their own kids….it is there but I think extreme stress must bring it out or maybe having too much power.
So, what brings out the bullies online? I think it is that they can do it anonymously and therefore don’t have to be held accountable for their actions. I would be willing to bet that many bullies would not act that way if it were a face to face confrontation. Many bullies were bullied before they became a bully and this is their way of seeking revenge. Some are under extreme stress and it is taken out on those on the internet. And some are just malicious people who want to hurt others.
We have all read of people who committed suicide after being bullied horrendously. Megan Taylor Meier is an example of what bullying does to someone. She killed herself after being harassed by the mother of a school mate of hers. A grown woman decides she is going to “mess with” this child and tell her how horrible she is. And the mother didn’t do it in her name. She created a fake account and pretended to be a boy who was around Megan’s age. Although what the woman did contributed to the death of Megan, there were no real laws on internet bullying to allow them to prosecute her. But, public opinion and their anger at what this mother did, caused them to have to close their business and move. The very thing that made it possible for this woman to bully Megan worked against them and people were able to find their address, phone numbers, etc and to let them know what they thought of this woman.
You can read the story here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Suicide_of_Megan_Meier
It is very scary all the information that is out there about us on the internet. People can find your address, your phone numbers, even where you work. That is what happened to me. Some people looked me up, found my home, my email and harassed me and bullied me. Since then, I have made it a point to go to every site I can find and remove my information.
I realize that Zuckerberg wants all of our info out there and says we should “trust” on Facebook. Of course, he does not want all His information out there. That is different. But I find that puts people at risk. Women who have been in abusive relationships can be tracked down, people can find other people’s work, homes, phone numbers, etc and bully them or even stalk them.
John Dean states on his column on cyber bullying the following:
“As with obscenity, most people know bullying when they see it, so I need not dwell on describing the name-calling; the vicious teasing; the spreading of gossip or rumors or outright falsehoods; the focusing of unwanted attention; and the revealing of private and personal information—that is, the many ways and means of bullying—for they are endless and easily recognized by the style and form of their delivery.“
Dean states that cyber bullies have the potential to harass and bully 24/7. That is a terrifying ordeal for the person being bullied. He goes on to say:
“In short, the cyberbully, like those found tweeting pseudonymously on Twitter, are uniquely disquieting, and deserving of more than a special loathing. We need a solid set of techniques for dealing with their offensive and obnoxious behavior.”
You can read the column here:
He plans on doing several columns on this so you might want to bookmark this site.
Please do not think that cyber bullying is something only kids do cause it is not. In the world of anonymous, there are many adults who will attack for no reason and harass and bully you. Below is the link to a page of a woman who was bullied and her story is horrific but emphasizes the need to keep your information private.
So, what should you to avoid cyber bullying and harassing? Follow the steps on this link below, which are:
Do Not Respond to the Cyber Bully’s Attacks
This is the hardest thing to do cause you want to defend yourself but that is what they want you to do…to react.
Don’t Delete Information Related to the Cyber Bullying
also make screenshots of everything they have said and done.
Report the Cyber Bullying to ISP, Police, Schools and even FBI
While many ISP’s will act quickly, some won’t. Don’t expect Facebook to. Go on to the police…even the FBI if necessary but make sure you document and report.
You can read all the information on how to protect yourself here:
And one more important thought. Stand up for those being bullied and help them. The more people against cyber bullying, the more they will get the message. And PLEASE…don’t put all your information on the internet. It is not a safe world out there, regardless of what Zuckerberg says about it when it comes to Facebook. There are malicious and mentally sick people out there on the internet who just wait for a chance to jump on someone and harass, threaten and bully.
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Got your MOJO on? I do……:)
I will not lie and tell you life is all roses because it is not. Some days I can not move and lay on this bed in agony and some days I am able to sit in my power chair for a little while. But no matter what kind of day, I look for something good to focus on whether it is my dreams, my daisy, my son who is so good at taking care of me, my friends on line…no matter what..thee is always something good to find in life if you look hard enough. Just remember it is how you think that determines what life is like.
“If you think you can or you think you can not, you will be right.”
I am 64. Life has been a journey of health issues since before I was 32 and got sprayed by a crop duster. I have warrior attitude. Being a warrior does not mean you always win. It means you never quit trying. Life is what you make it and I choose to make mine as happy as possible no matter where I am in life.
I spend a lot of time on this hospital bed due to constant pain and sickness but I am just thankful I have the hospital bed to lay on. I am disabled but I do not let that stop me from living life and enjoying it. Life is what we make it and I choose to make mine happy.
Our baby Daisy
Son and Daisy
My one room world from my hospital bed-it is filled with warmth and love from so many.
I still dream of going back to Italy, of us having one of those mini buses with a lift for my chair that son can convert into a travel home for us to make it easier when I have to go to Denver for surgeries and stuff. I still dream of learning how to tap dance…yes even on these crutches or laying on my hospital bed, just so I can say I did. All I need are a pair of size 11 tap shoes.
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I draw, I paint, I write, I do photography…my latest love is the clouds for I see faces in the clouds all the time and have a blog at the top of the page entitled “Faces in the Clouds”. On good days, I sit on a stool and help son in the kitchen…yes, often with him leaning over me to help me pour or stir but I get to do it. :) My philosophy is if you can’t do it one way…then create a new way. Son says I am the only person he knows that used to use their all terrain power chair like a back hoe…using a grain shovel and rake to move dirt or mulch in the garden. I would hold the handle between my legs and rake up the stuff on the two foot wide shovel and then go backwards dragging the shovel to where I wanted to dump it. I miss those days of being out in the yard. Life has changed since then and I am basically a one room person.
Ever since I was a little girl, I was told I was a dreamer. I can remember report cards with “day dreams” written on it. I think dreams are what keep us going. Without dreams…we have no hope.
Follow Your Dreams, The Siren Called Out To Me
As I closed my eyes and fell deep into lovely sleep.
The dream siren called me with a promise to keep
I closed my eyes and looked deep in my soul
I could feel the wind blowing…it was so very cold
My dreams I had carried through year after year
They will never come true was my biggest fear
Wandering up one lane and down another
Remembering my dream since I became a mother
Land, open land and a place to be free
A small house to live in with a big evergreen tree
We mounted the buckboard with all we owned inside
And started over the mountain on this crazy dream ride
We felt like pioneers racing to the finish line for land
And the whole time we knew -The Lord had our hand
So don’t be afraid to dream your dreams and try
Life is too short…open your wings up and fly
Dream I say and work the dream hard as you can
For it will be the best race that you ever ran.
© danLrene 2012
We all have dreams of what we want out of life. I remember Laverne on Laverne and Laverne saying her dream was to have a purple cashmere sweater. Well, our dream is to own land in the country and have a simple life style unencumbered by so much of what is in the world today.
I love to write and have written for years. And hopefully will continue to write for many more years. This blog is about our journey getting here, our life after we reached the promised land and different middle of the night ramblings, posts to inspire others to keep fighting and keep living. Dreams are like cooking…we might get our grandparents old recipes, but we tend to alter them to suit ourselves. But, dream we must…for as long as we have hope in life…we have dreams. And even plain ole everyday people get dreams that come true.
I hope you enjoy and will subscribe and share my journey. Come join us at the foothills of the mountains where we have found a life of simplicity and serenity, in spite of all the health trials of one disabled woman and the courage of a son that chose to take care of her.
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