Bullies – they are everywhere. They never contribute a lot of good to the society and, most especially, the person they are targeting as well. Not putting a proper context on a single post can lead to people’s misunderstanding; thus, igniting harmful judgments. This still happens even if the post was of good intent.
Last week, a news report came out of a man who started a hate campaign against a Kerala student who was selling fish to make ends meet. Noorudeen Sheikh initially took photos of Hanan Hamid selling fish after her classes in college. He, then, broadcasted through Facebook live that Hamid is a fake after seeing her with superstar Mohanlal. Hamid said that she was working as a junior artiste in a film (aside from selling fish) to help pay medical bills for her ailing mother.
Sheikh’s accusations ignited negative comments about Hamid. They believed in the presumption that she was pretentious to get sympathy. Worse, they said all those without knowing the truth. Their judgments were based solely on Sheikh’s account.
This issue could have been avoided. The intervention of the police and the government helped a lot in minimizing harm towards Hamid. If not, she could have been attacked further. But why do we need to go through this measures? How damaging is social media bullying?
A Cowardly Act
Online bullying is simply a cowardly act.
Most online trolls and bullies use dummy accounts just to attack people. Some are even paid trolls. Nothing could be more cowardly than attacking and maligning an individual or a group/organization while hiding behind a fake identity.
And even if an individual uses his own personal account, it is still but cowardly because you are attacking a person virtually with fewer liabilities than that of doing so in the face.
The World Against One
Another horrific thing about online bullying is that it seems like you are alone against the entire world.
People post hate comments and ganging up on you and you are just one person trying to defend yourself. No matter how you try to report each comment, it’s not under your discretion.
Aside from cowardly, bullying is also simply sadistic. People just seem to keep on pounding their keyboarding, finding the pleasure in it, not knowing that they could hurt and harm the person in a magnitude of ways.
Sometimes, stepping back and not adding fuel to the fire is the most considerate way you can do and to avoid bullying, too.
Mental Health and Suicide
The worst thing that could happen to cyber bullying is its mental effect on the person.
Mental health is a huge issue lately especially with the birth of social media. Online bullying is one cause of it. When people hate on you and put you down, it affects you emotionally and mentally. When that person has little to no support system and could not cope with it, it could lead to suicide.
While this is not our expertise to talk about mental health and its awareness but know that it’s a possible result of cyberbullying.
Cyberbullying can be easily minimized. It should not need the help of the government, police, or the social networking sites. However, they need to step up because netizens find it difficult to moderate or even stop themselves from doing so.
Minimizing cyberbullying should start with each individual. It entails restraining and discipline. But most importantly, it entails being human. Once a person puts himself in another person’s shoes, he’d know that hating or trolling others could be hurtful.
Next week, we’ll talk about the different types of cyberbullying. This is so we can create awareness on others because we’re never too sure that we don’t participate in bullying others online. Because sometimes, what seems to be innocent fun could actually just fall into that bracket of bullying.