Were there Facebook statuses posted for you without your name? Did your friend who turned an enemy recently post a indirect message? Did they reply that their status is for their cousin’s best friend’s daughter when politely dealt? and those brutally worthless replies and comments to irk you. Oh! Join the club. Read on.
As much as I love the internet for the connect across the world, with almost 2000 friends and 1500 followers, it also introduced me to bullying, with due respect to the internet, I am writing this post on behalf of the millions of youngsters voicing my thoughts on the assault. This post has details collected from various sources, friends and family after a brief discussion on this topic.
Trolling is not just about calling names. It is not about the “Bitch,” or “Bastard,” terms but much more. Because, when swear words are used, many are ready to intervene and say “Boss, not cool!” but when you’re bullied, you deal it alone.
We are all unique in our ways, all of us wear our self-respect on our sleeves and are working towards a goal to achieve. You and your friends are keen about the goals in mind, and the tireless efforts behind. One thing we fail to understand or rather never think about is how we are in the eyes of others. What’s their thoughts about you, and what they imagine you to be?
Most of us fail to understand that it is okay to disagree with the thoughts and opinions of others. None can force another to align their thoughts according to theirs. These days, I find people who accuse others when they get to know that the other is not ready to compromise their ideas. Here starts the dispute!
Let me hazard a guess here about me. To my family and friends, am someone who is passionate about writing. Some close friends are proud of who I am and say to their folks and colleagues that am an author. Feels good right? I thought this is the perspective of the world about me until bullying started. I’ve always participated in various writers and bloggers forums; I still have no clue what makes me so socially active.
“She is so desperate to become the talk of the group. She wants to be known as the best author in here,” said one and “Yeah, she’s such an attention seeking whore,” replied the other. I was alarmed to hear this. Folks who don’t know me, whom I’ve never met, and whom I’ve just interacted via social media had this perspective, and this very thought kept running in my mind for the whole day, hurting my self-respect and self-esteem. Unenlightened as I was that it is not over, and I would experience even more.
I kept learning the craft and art of writing; I blogged about it for the AtoZ Challenge that strangers and few bloggers turned friends. One thing led to the other, and now, I’ve conducted three successful writing related workshop in Chennai. While the first was an unpaid gig, the second was paid by the college, and the third was a paid gig with a poster inviting people to pay and attend. Here, the next bullying started.
There was a status without my name that read “You’ve achieved nothing. What do you even know about writing to do a workshop.” while that hurt me to an extent the worst part followed one after the other. A friend who commented on my poster that I am a beautiful soul who helps others also commented on that status that he is extremely annoyed about my workshop, and it is disgusting that I am making money out of it. How foolish was I to see a friend in him, indeed, he was a part of my first workshop. Though they know that am not entitled to take the entire money but only a portion of it, they emphasized and voiced that I am doing it. I wondered why they didn’t raise their voice against vanity publishing which gobbles authors money; I wanted to know why they don’t post about marketing services company which cost a bomb for it can be done at a cheaper rate.
“She asks her friends to post a selfie with her with the tagline ‘With my favorite author,'” read one comment. “With a pout, oh God, when she pouts it looks like the asshole,” said another guy. “No boss, that’s a duck face,” shot another. One after the other, the comments grew and to my surprise, those whom I thought are my friends were not. The bully still continues! And I still continue to grow. Just when this status was posted, I signed my contract for traditional publishing, and I have back to back articles in leading newspapers. No matter what people try to do when you’re destined to grow – you just grow.
These status messages are not even sensible for that matter. When one of my friends responded to the one who spoke ill about an NGO that is functioning well, his status message read “Ignore the illiterates and live happily,” while those who are a part of the NGO are well-learned and are in good position. When commented asking what he means by the term illiterates, he replied that those who annoy him are. One politely asked his address to gift him a dictionary, and boom, they were all blocked. Similarly, when the NGO personnel posted on Facebook calling volunteers to participate, there was another status saying “Am not revealing the NGO name, but, they are using social media as their marketing strategy.” When asked if there’s any government rule that NGO’s should not use social media, again, all were blocked. When they met him in person, he was so spineless to say he didn’t mean them. To post such status on social media is different from facing them in person.
Once when I was going pillion with my dad, A bike was parked in the middle of the road blocking other vehicles from moving. When my father crossed the bike owner, he read the word on the bike’s number plate loud which embarrassed the guy to a greater extent. My father spelled “NAVY,” loudly for all of them around to hear. He summed it all in just one word.
Here are my personal thoughts on Trolling/ cyberbullying/ online bullying:
First, understand that the world we live in is a creepy place. There are people who upload wardrobe malfunctions of a star on youtube. Mind you; they are stars for a reason and the uploaders are just anonymous or xSkatyto2boy16 who are just creepier and filthier to show their face to the world.
Keep this instance always in mind: When there were debates about how did actor Dhanush made it to the national award, and people talking about how he is not the well-deserved, he was selecting his expensive suit for the award function. He went to Bollywood and next he is all set to debut at Hollywood and is famous than other talented folks. And think of what the debaters are doing, you think they’re successful by any mean? a fat NO.
Those who bully are finding their ways to become famous. A few feel powerful when they hurt someone.
You don’t have to be loud to prove something. You don’t have to throw stones at every dog that barks at you. Facebook and other social media platforms are microcosms.
You know your self-worth, you don’t have to prove it to anyone.
Ignore the mean and spend your time with those who encourage you to be a better version of what you are, because what’s dumber than bullying is to reply to it.
“If you’re insulting people on the internet, you must be ugly on the inside.” — Phil Lester
” If someone hurts you, don’t mind it ever because it is a Law of Nature that the tree that bears the sweetest fruits gets the maximum number of stones.” – Author unknown. Who is going to care if you’re not huge enough to bully? By bullying you, they try to become famous, isn’t it? Have you ever noticed, negative reviews spread faster than positives, and thereby making the reviewer famous? I know of a book marketing person who bullies and pulls the legs of all famous authors on Facebook to market herself.
Never react because that’s what the person who bullies wants from you. Their intention is to get you out of control and kindle your emotions. Your mental peace is important than such unproductive stimulus, isn’t it? Be mindful first and respond politely if required.
You reply to people. You reply to PEOPLE. Not anything else. Those who troll online, insult people online, focus on cyber bullying to become famous are not that. But, you are!
There are various cyberbullying instances of morphed images/ sharing your mobile number to unreliable resource/Sharing your images on unrelated sites and demeaning you. There are cyberbullying cases that lead to suicide attempts and loss of life. It is important to be mindful unless there’s a hole in the boat, It can never drown in the sea. Be that. No amount of negativity can bump your mind if you are confident enough and you know about your self-worth.
I ensured not to give a damn about bullying, this is how my social media icons folder looks like. Everytime I try to access social media, this reminds me that I should not give a fuck about anything that happens on Facebook.
To sum it up, social media has given umpteen options to keep your profile off from people who will never be happy with you and your achievements, use it wisely!