Today's World, Projecting Tomorrow
Why Cyberbullying Isn't Going Anywhere - It's Getting Worse
A couple of days ago, I was scrolling social media when I stumbled across a short video of a woman acting out a scene from a TV show. She's a good actress, and it was an engaging clip, but when I opened the comment section, my jaw physically dropped.
The top few comments all complimented her performance, but below them were dozens of comments saying things like "cringe," "Why would you post this?", and other less than encouraging additions.
In the early days of social media, internet hate was a different ball game. Trolls were just that, and the notes they left were as ridiculous as they were mean. People said things they'd never say in person, and opted to hide anonymously through fake names or vague user handles.
But rather than fade out, these attacks have gotten worse. Instead of recognizing the severity of what words can do, it seems like we as a society have gotten more comfortable with saying harsh things even in person. We're becoming more and more desensitized to one another's pain.
Cyberbullying rarely holds consequences and is often only treated seriously when the repercussions are visible. It's no longer something that happens just in "targeted" situations. The comments on the video I watched weren't from people who had actively sought out this girl with the intent to hurt her. They simply came across the video, didn't connect with it, and rather than scrolling on by - opted to publicize their displeasure.
Cyberbullying is creating an extremely entitled culture where people not only feel the right to hold, but to enforce their opinions on others with no thought or care to what comes after.
What's next for the internet and for the world is unclear. But one thing's for sure - this trend isn't positive. If we want to change things, we need to cultivate empathy, understanding, and humility. We need to raise a generation who thinks even of those they don't like or agree with before they act, and who value the general wellbeing of the world.