For the past week I have done something that was very difficult for me. I was a “cyber bully”. I don’t place cyber bully in parenthesis because I don’t believe it doesn’t exist I did it because I really couldn’t actually cyber bully anyone.
Last week as I was laying in bed, not really tired but because it was late, was in bed watching tv. I turned to CNN hoping that Pierce would help me fall asleep. But as I lay there I started to listen to one of the stories that they were covering it was about bullying. To sum up the story, a mayor, in regards to bullying, said that parents needed to “grow a pair”. He basically was saying that it was up to the parents to teach their kids to speak up, fight back and to not bully. That parents couldn’t expect the government and schools to do all that and teach their kids academics.
I totally understand playground bullying. I was a bully and I bullied others. But I guess for me it was cycle of growing up. One year you bullied and the next you got bullied. But now there is cyber bullying. Growing up we didn’t have the technology in such a way that you could literally be bullied anywhere.
I wanted to see what it was like to bully over the Internet. I put the request out on my Facebook account saying that I want to cyber bully someone and I sat back and waited for responses. It was interesting who ended up volunteering to be bullied by me on the Internet. Two friends that I have known for some time now. Really, my good friends. And so I sent them both messages and told them why I wanted to do and how I thought it was going down. And they were both excited to be a part of my little social experiment.
I wanted to do it for week straight on Facebook and on Twitter. I was going to comment on the photos, on their statuses, reply to their tweets and say mean things. But that’s not how it went down.
Cyber bullying is hard work.
I know a teenager has plenty of free time to bully but I don’t. I found myself preparing for bed and thinking “oh shoot, I forgot to bully today”. It was a poor attempt.
But I did learn a few things:
1. My friends are such strong people. They can make fun of themselves and be made fun of and still find happiness.
2. “Interesting how much time we spend – and waste – on thinking and saying negative things.” -Paul (friend who volunteered to be bullied)
3. I can’t stand for bullying. In person or in cyber space.
4. Cyber bullying is a game only if you are willing to play. It starts by knowing your real friends.
5. Parents should teach cyber safety. We teach about safety in every other space on the planet, why not cyber space.
6. It takes more energy to hate than it is to love, love is so natural.
7. I really do suck at cyber bullying, even as an experiment.