The Internet. While I spend my pre-teen and teenage years mastering it’s widely complicated web, I still don’t understand everything. My confusion is not in the technical aspect, (because really, how many average people can really discuss HOW the internet actually works) but in the social concept of using the internet. As I have a blog, obviously I use the internet as a mode to put thoughts, feelings and random ideas out there for the world to see. As an innately shy person, this works for me. I’ve tried to use a journal, but it just never works out. This blog could be read by 1 or 100 people, it makes no difference to me. Sometimes I have to get things out, and let’s be honest, my husband has him limits on the amount of talking I can put him through, LOL!
What I do not use my blog for (or any other form of social media) is to be nasty, or call out anyone for something they may have said or done – because this is BULLYING.
It doesn’t matter if you are 5, 10 or 50, I believe that you have no right to bully anyone. Children have to learn the different between wrong and right, and what is an acceptable way to treat another human being, so through this learning process it is inevitable that bullying will happen. But as adults, it is up to us to be an example of how our children should act. This is where I tend to shake my head sometimes, because the number of adults who take to social media to air grievances, either between two adults or (worse in my mind) between children is terrifying. How can any adult preach to a child about the negative aspects of bullying when being guilty of (publicly) doing it themselves is incomprehensible.
I suppose my childhood had a huge influence on my views of social media, we didn’t have the internet in my house until I was in high school, and even then dial-up was slow and more annoying than useful. We actually played outside, and when bullying happened it was generally dealt with face to face with an adult involved and in most cases the issue was resolved. Granted this was only my experience, living in a small town where all the parents knew each other and their kids so it may have been easier for issues to be resolved. But still. Now that I’m expecting my own little girl, I am terrified – absolutely terrified at what my child may have to deal with when the times comes for her to go to school. Having to help her negotiate the internet safely is one concern, but now I may have to help her deal with bullying on a whole new level. Am I being over-sensitive? Probably, it’s just my nature I guess. Do I know how I will react when it is my child who is a victim of bullying? No, of course not. But I understand the need to make a conscious effort to resolve the situation without adding to the negativity, instead of making it worse.
Miranda Lambert has a song called “Automatic” where she sings about back in the day where things were done by hand, when things took time and things were far more simple than they are now. While I cannot express how convenient the internet is, sometimes I ask myself if the convenience is worth the negative repercussions that have come along with it. Even as I re-read this post to make sure that my thoughts have come across in the manner that I intend, I hesitate to push the “publish” button because I’m worried about negative comments that may come out of it.
Well….here goes nothing I guess!