Today I want to cover an issue that affects many across the world web web – “cyber bullying”. Simply put, cyber bullying is intimidating and threatening someone using an electronic device like a cellphone or computer.
Cyber bullying statistics for 2014 show that 52% of young adults claim to have been cyber bullied. However, these facts don’t cover adult use of these devices. As an adult, I can tell you, I’ve witnessed cyber bullying first hand and found it shocking that group moderators do nothing about it in discussion forums.
We all know a discussion between two people who feel strongly about their opinions can get out of hand; it’s human nature to get defensive when we feel attacked. The big question here is what really forces that first remark which crosses the line?
Like with everything in life there are people who want to feel important and people who want to be heard. These people either want to gain a higher status in life or a feeling of being understood.
Those who bully others are likely to show the following traits depression or anxiety, don’t like their job or life in general and have trouble controlling their emotions.
I remember one discussion in particular, I had written an article on my blog and someone got very defensive questioning my wording when I stated, “this disability was not one which would stop any determined self – driven person to not work but all that was needed was simple accommodations…”
The first reply seemed harmless enough when they commented, “Please don’t lead the public to believe everyone person with hyperacusis can work.”
I of course replied to the comment as it was taken out of context and it needed to be made clear that people could miss understand. “That quote was taken out context from my own experience and mine alone. “
The discussion continues, “Okay but I took that out of the link you provided which in no way made it clear it was from your own experience.” This person then goes on to say they don’t like the use of the word “any”.
I then go on to explain more clearly that my blog is about my own personal experience with hyperacusis and quoted the title and subtitle, “Living with Hearing Sensitivity, How I cope after hearing loss, surgery, recovery and life.”
By this time, I thought the matter had been cleared up. However, the person comes back again after several others in the group were trying to move the discussion along. “That doesn’t change the fact that your fine print (ie general statement that your journal is about your struggle).”
They then go on with saying don’t misstate things by representing everyone and I will state this over and over again until you agree. (Bully point number 1)The person is unwilling to let the conversation move on.
Then they try to intimate me with stating, “They will state this over and over again until I agree.” (Bully point number 2) Not will to accept the opinions of others.
(Bully point number 3) They begin attacking my writing style because they feel they need to be right and cannot control their emotional state.
By this time, it was clear this person had to be right and thought I was going to let them bully me. Mind you, this was a support group where people are supposed to feel free to express their opinions and views, be supportive, understanding and helpful.
I then stood up for myself, “Your opinion is yours to have and I appreciate any manner of discussion as long as it is not a form of disrespect for others. My opinion on the matter is my own to write. I have let you voice your thoughts and tried to clear up the misunderstanding. Yet you do not allow the same of me; for you to state and I quote you, ‘I will state it over and over until you agree’ is a form of bullying and I never thought I would see such a thing here in a support group.”
Another incident of bullying occurred between two other people when (person number 1) stated they were getting better from a health issue. (Person number 2) remarked, “Everyone knows, I am not interested in success stories. The success can go off and be happily normal and do not need help. I personally do not find success stories helpful at all. In fact, I find them harmful.”
At this point, the negativity of this person was just beaming and they went on to attack (person number 1). It’s hard to miss something like this happening in discussion. I had been so busy with work that I stopped in that very day to get an update on news and following up on a few article interviews. It had gone on for some time and no one was doing anything about it.
I was compelled to speak out, “I take a different stance on this. I share the stories of as many different cases as possible with examiner.com so that one can see what we are up against here. We each have to deal with this in a way best suited for each individual person… young, old, work related, music lover, head injury etc.
To try to say it is this way or that is harmful to each person who suffers. It is not a 12-step program; do this and you will be healed. It’s something that can affect anyone at any time.
I want to hear the success stories. I want to know some people can get better… if for nothing else… then my own selfish cry for help from HOPE!”
That is like saying you don’t want to hear the success of a cancer patient, aids patient, heart patient. I want to know what research is out there, what everyone is trying, what works or fails because it’s all a step in finding a way to cope and heal.”
I felt bad for this person, that this disorder had caused them to be so negative. Yet again, the bully showed the same traits depression or anxiety, they didn’t like their life in general because of their pain, and had trouble keeping their emotions under control.
I hope this article has provided you with useful information such as how to pick out a bully online and some positive ways of dealing with it. I’ve also attached a State Cyber Bully Law link for your convenience.