I have little patience for bullying.
Bullying is divisive and promotes anger, which over time leads to uncontrolled aggressive behaviors by those who are belittled.
In some cases, bullying pushes good people away from an organization, which in itself can have a tremendous impact on the morale of that enterprise. Technology has helped us with democratizing our thoughts and opinions, but many times at the price of allowing people to share their bullying thoughts freely.
Let me make this more real for you.
On Facebook alone, we find literally hundreds of thousands of people endorsing bullying all over the place. It is not uncommon for people to see screenshots of people being beaten on Facebook, along with bullying hate speech. Modern-day social media is only a step beyond the laws of the jungle or the Wild Wild West, in a lot of respects.
Let me make something very clear. I have seen a lot of bullying online and it is toxic. Please stop! Let’s get along, shall we?
Bullying, however, is real, alive and well. Technology has empowered millions of people to display and share their acts of hate toward others! I know that this reality sounds crazy, but it happens every day all over social media.
Sure, we can use these social media tools to communicate with family and friends, or to shout bullying remarks at innocent people in this space we call cyberspace. Kids are dying because of cyberbullying. How are they dying? Many are committing suicide. We need to intervene now, don’t you think?
Remember: Just because we don’t actually see each other face-to-face on Instagram doesn’t mean that people can just compose and share bullying messages aimed at others. Let’s not forget there is an actual person in front of that computer screen reading your message.
Truth: Technology is a tool that can be used for good or for bad. Much good is done online, but the amount of bullying I’ve seen on places like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram is borderline illegal.
Why aren’t we censoring bullying speeches on Facebook? I know, I know. Many people are claiming that they have the right to free speech, and therefore can say anything to other people.
The internet is still regulated by the laws of the United States, if you reside in the great U.S. of A. Hate speech is a crime that can send people to jail. Using bullying toward others will eventually backfire, just remember that.
Look, we live in 2018. Technology is available everywhere, which has transformed the way we live and communicate in this country. However, we see bullying everywhere on the internet.
It is time for some of us to make a statement about it and provide an alternative. A nation that is united cannot be divided. A united people cannot be defeated. We are all Americans, are we not? There is no room for bullying online, people.
Next time you see somebody belittling someone on a social media group, say something about it. Do something. Here is the good news. You don’t have to be a rocket scientist in order to treat others with respect, and that is cool. You just need to be reasonable. It isn’t that difficult.
In the end, we are all in this big boat together trying to make it. Life isn’t easy for anybody. Bullying only makes things more complicated for people.
Technology may have given us the tools to communicate across borders, but it also has given voice to a large number of people who should be speechless.
Say no to bullying online.
——— (Posted Previously on the Cleveland Daily Banner).
(About the writer: Dr. Luis C. Almeida is an associate professor of communication at Lee University and a TEDx speaker. He is the author of the book “Becoming a Brand: The Rise of Technomoderation,” and a devoted Christian. He can be reached via his website at luiscalmeida.info.)