I’ve learned first hand just how powerful words can be when attacked online with various racial slurs by someone that I do not even know. Now this isn’t the first time that something like this has happened to me but it never ceases to amaze me just how ignorant and cruel people can be, especially when they are hiding behind the computer screens.
As Issa Rae, creator of popular web series “The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl” put it
Users hide comfortably behind their computer screens and type the most obnoxiously offensive things they can think of and thirstily WAIT for an angry response; a validation of their modest efforts.
In some ways, cyber bullying proves to be even worse then bullying in person as there is no real way to monitor it or keep it at bay. Cyber bullies face no real consequences for their actions leading some have even went so far as to create blogs and/or accounts just to spread hate.
So what can be done? Several may think that there is no ultimate solution but the truth of matter is that a better world begins with you. Be the best person that you can be and share those values with your family. Make it a culture to be nice to others while inspiring others to do the same. Be mindful with your words, they have much more power that we care to believe sometimes.
Parents, monitor what your children are doing online, In my experience cyber bullying can start young and spiral completely out of control.
Last but not least, support organizations that provide support those who face cyber bullying and work to minimize it. One such example is an organization by the name of Mean Stinks. With ambassadors the likes of GLEE’s Amber Riley and singer Demi Lovato, the Mean Stinks campaign aims at shifting attitudes and providing a platform for young people to speak openly about bullying.