“Cyber bullies can hide under the mask of anonymity online, and do not need direct physical access to their victims to do unimaginable harm” – Anna Maria Chavez
“People’s behaviors are messages, not a diagnosis because I can no longer discern the world’s version of insanity” – Shannon L. Alder
I woke up on a cold harmattan morning, angry and weary. First of all, I had a bad dream; I saw an elderly woman chasing me around the village square with a big machete in her right hand. If it was back in the days, I would have woken up to soak my chaplet in water and proceed to recite the psalms. But on this morning, I just went to my closet and took two tablets of paracetamol and I felt better. And afterwards, I did a few push-ups, sit-ups and crunches, before flipping my tablet open to check for recent posts on Facebook and my favorite blogs.
In all honesty, I really needed the sit-ups more than ever. My tummy was growing bigger and it wasn’t good for me at all. Imagine if I had a big tummy with little or no cash, it would be disastrous if robbers accosted me. They wouldn’t listen to my pleas and would gladly dash me one or two bullets on the phat (sic) tummy. After all, in our society, a Big man should have a Big tummy, and a Big bank account. Sorry for digressing, I apologize!
So as I was going through the Facebook notifications, I realized a friend tagged me to a picture. It was a picture of a girl I knew back in the days. She was semi-nude on the bed while pouting her lips and touching her clit. From the comments, I quickly realized the picture was posted by some disgruntled ex who had a score to settle with her. Now, that was the height of immaturity; the depth of insanity. This was an obvious case of cyber-bullying! I quickly clicked on the report icon.
What has this world turned into? Grown men acting like sissies! If you got an axe to grind with a person, why not thread the honorable path of confronting the person or having a sit-down to thrash out the issue, instead of resorting to cheap blackmail. What is the aim of the stunt? Oh, I get it…post a shameful picture of a perceived enemy on the internet that would cause some form of embarrassment to the person so he/she would come back running to you. That’s ridiculous, more like a scene in a Nollywood movie!
Cases of cyber-bullying have increased at an alarming rate over the last decade. A factor that has contributed to the rise is that more people have access to the internet these days. Disgruntled folks now feel the internet is a medium for settling scores by posting embarrassing pictures or stories about their enemies. That shit crayyy!
The world never took cyber-bullying seriously. Not until the suicide of Tyler Clementi did cyber-bullying capture the attention of people and the struggles victims of cyber-bullying face.
On the 19th day of September 2010, Tyler Clementi’s roommate Dharun Ravi and another hallmate, Molly Wei, used a webcam to view Clementi kissing another man, without Clementi’s knowledge. They eventually urged friends to watch a second tryst (though the viewing never occurred). After Clementi found out about what had happened, he jumped to his death from the Georgia Washington Bridge on September 22, 2010. Tragic!
With the advent of social media, cyber-bullying has spiraled out of control. People intentionally post rumors and gossips about people on the internet, bringing about hatred in others minds, while hiding under the mask of anonymity. Others resort to publishing defaming materials about perceived enemies, all in a bid to start a social media war or gain more popularity, because scandal seems to sell more these days.
It is pertinent to enact laws protecting individuals against cyber-bullying on the internet. Anyone found guilty should face the long arm of the law. It is really pathetic that an angry and sulking good-for-nothing scumbag would sit behind a computer in some slum somewhere in a third world nation, posting false and embarrassing stories about people. These individuals that engage in this evil act might be depressed people that hold nothing but contempt for their own worthless lives. They try to make others angry so they’d be even and feel better; the reincarnation of Hitler and Goebbels. When has making other people angry cured depression and anger?
In conclusion, we all gotta know this: this world is filled with different people with varying issues; some are discontented while others are depressed. For some of these individuals, social media has become some form of antidepressant. Not everyone can deal with their personal problems, so in a bid to find solutions to their problems, they cause harm to others so they’d feel better. By pouring venom and bullying others on social media, they derive joy that has eluded them; a sadistic online pleasure (akin to an orgasm) from the willing masochists that take every freaking post on social media seriously.
Social media is not a phuck-worthy matter. When we learn to care less about every single shit posted on social media, we cease to empower the cyber-bullies. That is why Mark and his team provided the ‘report icon’. If you find any post that reeks of cyber-bullying, you simply click the button and Mark does what he knows how to do best – delete the stuff. In turn, the cyber-bullies lose any form of relevance and whatever is left of their antics. And we should do so on other social media platforms.
The less phucks we give about un-phuck-worthy issues, the happier we become. Capisce!