Cuber bullies: block or brawl?

Andrea Chevalier, Associate Culture Editor

Why is it that people always seem to be more outspoken online, especially through social media outlets, than they are in real life face-to-face conversations? It’s as if people get a confidence boost behind the screen, not having to look those whom they’re communicating with in the eyes. All of a sudden, they get the feeling that they can say whatever they want, regardless of the person on the other side’s feelings.

According to, cyber-bullying is any bullying that takes place using electronic technology. Examples of cyber-bullying include mean text messages or emails, rumors sent by email or posted on social networking sites, and embarrassing pictures, videos, websites, or fake profiles. Cyber-bullying has grown since the increase in the use of technology and social media. The number of students who experience cyber-bullying has been on the rise since 2008. According to the website, 6 percent of students in grades 6-12 admitted that they were cyber-bullied. Three years later in 2011, the number jumped to 16 percent of students in grades 9-12. That’s a huge increase!

The thing is, cyber-bullying doesn’t just happen to kids in grade school. There have been a few instances where I have been the victim of minor cyber bullying, and one instance happened just a few weeks ago. After posting a photo on my Facebook account, one of the “friends” on my page made a rude comment that was completely unnecessary. Even though it didn’t really hurt my feelings too much (this person is just one of my Facebook friends, not a real-life friend) it made me mad that someone thinks that they can just go onto my account, say rude things, and not think twice about it.

What made this even more annoying was that this person is a college student. Why are you doing something so immature?

After reading the comment and thinking about why this person even bothered to post it on my photo, I almost commented back to ask, “Why did you feel the need to even say that to me considering we are not really friends?” but instead of stooping down to this person’s level, I took the higher road, deleted the comment and blocked the person from being able to see any of my posts.

Even a couple weeks after this happened, I’m still frustrated that people feel as though they can disregard all respect that they would have when having a conversation or encounter with someone in person simply because they have that screen barrier. I don’t think I’ll ever understand why they use it as a shield. I mean, eventually you will probably have to face that person you were rude to. Do you think that they will just forget about what you said? I know that I will never look at this person the same way. I will never want to put in the effort to be nice to them or have a conversation with them because, in my opinion, they are low and not worth my time.

The positive side to all of this is that I am now more conscious about what I say to people on the Internet. I know what it feels like to be targeted online and I will not be the perpretrator. There’s something that my mom told me when I was younger, I’m sure everybody’s parents told their kids this: If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.

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