Dear Body Shamer,
Do you know what you're really doing? Do you know why you're doing it? Do you know how much this is affecting your victim? Do you know in what ways this is affecting your victim? Do you even know how this could affect you?
Cyberbullying can be from real people's accounts or fake anonymous accounts. Just a simple joke made on the internet towards someone can be taken as cyber ullying. When it comes to the internet, you no longer have emotion when you speak. People are unable to see your body language or hear the tone in your voice; which makes it that much easier for things to hurt people. Sometimes, the mean, harsh things that are said are meant, and that's the case most of the time. People like to feel powerful and strong, and some even think they actually look cool. Is that what you're doing? Watching others suffer to make yourself feel better? Do you actually think you look cool and fun to be around when you're putting others down?
It's not funny to be mean and bring others pain. Watching others shouldn't bring you joy either. I promise you that the majority of people who see you bullying someone think you’re horrible and heartless; they are just the last ones to speak up. Nobody wants to speak up for the one being beat down, but some will instead bandwagon and hop in on hurting his person. People love to gang up on someone for reasons they might not even be sure of, but it looks fun. Is that why you do it? Because you're bored and want to join in on bashing someone and ruining their self esteem? Because you have nothing better to do than hurt others? Because you really hate someone so much that you have to devote your time and energy into pulling this human being down until they believed that they were truly worthless?
Oh, you mean you didn't mean for them to feel like that? You really thought that calling someone ugly and pointing out their flaws while you posted personal information about them wouldn't affect them? You need to think for a moment, something in life that broke your heart. It could be a dead animal, family member, or even a past relationship. Imagine someone exposing everything about it on social media and making it feel meaningless. Now, think of the things you hate most about yourself, all of your worst insecurities. What if an anonymous account attacked you and all of your issues that stop you from loving yourself? Can you imagine the pain and sadness you would feel? Well that's exactly how you're affecting those who you bully.
When you drive people to feel this low and this worthless, so much more goes through their mind then you would think. Many people have a hard time shrugging things like this off. I’ve seen people affected firsthand, and it's broken my heart more than once. My best friend in 7th grade hated herself so much because of others’ judgments that she started cutting herself. We were just 12 year old little girls. The other kids thought it was funny to joke about the way she looked but didn't see how much they were hurting her. I was forced to grow away from her and to this day, she has never been the same bubbly, life loving, happy girl I knew. Sadly, that wasn't my only friend who was bullied to such a far point. My best friend now has been on independent study since her sophomore year of high school because of being bullied. It's her senior year, and she barely wants to attend any school functions because she can't bear to be judged anymore. Three years later and this poor girl still has no idea what she did for her whole school to hate her, for mean girls to try and jump her, or why it became a “trend” to post about her and all the things they saw as wrong or ugly. Many people have come forward and apologized admitting they had no real reason to treat her the way they did, and so why is it that they did? They drove her to tears so many times and I was always there for her, holding her, and reminding her what a beautiful person she was. Nothing is worse than holding someone you love who's heartbroken and you have no power to change what happened.
These girls are not the only ones. Did you know that 3 million kids a month stay home from school because of bullying? Or that 1 in 10 kids who are cyberbullied try to commit suicide? I bet you didn't know that suicide because of bullying is the number 3 killer of teens. This is how it's affecting your victims. You bully a person in an already unstable state and they commit suicide or even try, you can mark yourself as a killer. You don't know what people are already going through so why would you try to make life worse for anyone in anyway?
You're only okay with doing what you're doing because you believe there is no consequences. You feel powerful and untouchable, but that's not really the case. In California, you can face up to 1 year in jail or a $1,000 fine for online harassment or for giving out personal information about someone else with the intent to cause harm. Deciding to cyberbully someone is a decision that may seem small to you, but only until you get caught. Would you be okay if everyone around watched you get convicted for cyberbullying and heard your victim testify against you, with tears running down their face? Would you be able to live with yourself if someone took their own life because you made them feel like they were worthless?
Someone who cares