Cyber-Bullying Applies to Everyone
We have seen far too many deaths involving teenagers and young adults who were overwhelmed by the amount of cyber bullying flooding their facebook, emails, and various other applications. The anonymity some of these apps provide make it even easier for cyber bullies to attack their peers without being caught. Most of us have been guilty of cyber bullying at one time or another not even realizing we were bullying, especially when it comes to public figures. I recently watched a seminar where a specific celebrity’s public struggles were used to make a point about hiring employees. While the speaker’s intent was just to get a laugh out of the crowd, he did it at the expense of an extremely talented young lady who was going through what may have been one of the toughest points of her life. How would you feel if you were that young lady?
Opinion or Cyber-bullying?
When we see young celebrities battle weight issues, drug addictions or just simply grow into themselves in the public eye, it seems easy to ridicule their choices or make seemingly “harmless” comments on their photos. Yes, there is a certain amount of responsibility that comes along with being a celebrity and putting yourself and your work “out there” for the world to see and develop their critiques or opinions. But where do we draw the line between opinion and bullying another human being?
Why Cyber-bully Celebrities?
It seems so easy to make negative comments about celebrities perhaps because they seem to be elusive or untouchable and they are so rich there is nothing money can’t fix, right? Wrong. Just because you see their “name in lights,” or the fancy cars they drive, it doesn’t mean your words can’t hurt them. Look up some of the celebrities you “love to hate” and it is likely you will find that they worked hard for years to achieve their success. They have put in a lot of time and sacrificed a lot to achieve their dreams, just like you or me. It cannot be easy for stars to read hateful messages like, “I wish you would die,” on their social media site from a person who is just hiding behind a computer screen. Imagine if that were your son or daughter, brother or sister, how would you feel if you were to read something like that on their public Facebook or Twitter account?
What We Can Do About It
Even with people telling celebrities like Miley Cyrue she should die, her and Demi Lovato are not too shy to speak out about the amount of cyber-bullying they endure on Facebook and Twitter. Miss Cyrus has been working with Twitter to help put more security on Twitter pages to help filter cyber-bullying (see ClevverTv video with Dana Ward). Demi Lovato joined the Love is Louder Movement to not only address cyber bullying, but also to address serious issues of negative self image, discrimination, and depression.
With the growing reach of the internet and smart phones chalk full of video and photo capabilities, cyber bullying has been gaining more mainstream awareness. There are plenty websites such as stopbullying.gov that give options on ways to handle someone who is bullying them or what they could do if they see someone else being bullied. In the past few years YouTube has exploded with tons of clever PSA’s from kids and film makers all over the world trying to make it a better place by helping to stop cyber bullying. Before you post another hateful comment or hashtag, keep in mind that we should lead by example and that includes celebrities.