Thursday, November 21, 2013

Cyberbullying & Privacy

A computer is a mask which can be a voice for positive or negative opinion. Sadly, many people choose to voice negative opinions. Honestly, people who go out of their way to say negative things to strangers are just losers and are somewhat a sociopath. Cyber bullies have a source of anger and hatred draining them in their own lives such as parents, bosses or even other bullies and since they can not return that pain, they take it out on others. No healthy person does this, because healthy people do not target others to anonymously take their anger out on others. Bringing others down to make oneself feel better is a sign of low self esteem and a feeling of entitlement. You know who else feels entitlement? Serial killers and people who commit mass murders in school or other public places. Their harmful words and actions most likely do not even reflect the person they are bullying. Cyber bullying is not like a protest which tells an organization or individual to stop a harmful action but picking on an individual without real reason. They feel they have a right to do harmful acts to others even strangers because another person was mean to them. It is a reflection of their own lives which usually has nothing to do with the target. They do not understand nor can even slightly comprehend that the harm must stop with themselves, instead of spreading it to others. Hurting strangers is not power, but more of a inner cry of help. 

If you have ever been cyber bullied, just ignore them or get a police report for harassment without interacting with the bully. Internet addresses from emails, comments, etc can be traced and investigated if you feel your safety has been compromised. The more you interact with the bully, the more encouragement and pleasure they feel to continue on to the next stranger. 

Secondly, I'd like to talk about my own privacy since I'm on social media quite a bit. I've had to get a police report on a dog trainer who kept sending me death threats. I did not personally know this woman nor even interact with her. She just found me and saw my dog died in March so she kept writing long hate mails threatening violence toward me and my family. She was just utterly delusional, because if she actually took time to know me, she would know that I am a HUGE animal lover, help companies get up to leaping bunny standards and network cruelty free cosmetics. Her long hateful speech really didn't have anything to do with me personally. She was not there when my dog died nor does she even know what happened. She just felt entitled to be behind a computer screen, safe and cozy in her office and write such mean things. Honestly, I doubt I would be the only one she targeted since I was a random person. Either way, I didn't take it personally, because she didn't know me, who I am, nor what I do. However, ever since then I make sure that I do not reveal too much information about my workplace or current locations like a yelp check-in to the public. Not only that, I do not upload pictures of my daughter or anything that could reveal my home. My mailing address is like 4 miles away from my actual home. Therefore, I've become more aware of my own surroundings as well as my family's surroundings. 

The random hate mail I receive is usually racist or people trying to get attention, even borderline hilarious. I haven't reached the point where I want to stop blogging, tweeting or even going outside in public, but for those I love I will sacrifice. If it ever gets to that point I would quit all social media, but I know that all my interactions have been personal expression, sharing what I love and the positive desire to restore harmony. My main goal on twitter and pinterest was never money nor fame but to teach others that you can still feel beautiful without using products tested on animals. And my goal of my blog was to reach out to others in a form of anti-suicide stating that life does get better from that particular moment, you just have to keep going. I know that for every random hate mail, I get about four or five personal mails saying thank you or talking about how my blog as helped him or her reflect upon their own experiences. If I can save one individual from suicide or help push them through depression to a healthy mindset then my time online has been worth it. Not only that, my twitter has helped me meet like minded people who love animals and want to eliminate pseudoscience from cosmetic safety. So what if I get random hate from people I don't know who probably have nothing better to do in their free time? I'm bigger than to sink to that level and repeat that cycle.

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