I like solving problems. I don’t like seeing people suffer, especially when I can do something about it. I do not hesitate to give advice or to warn somebody about something, or just doing that something that needs to be done to solve a difficulty. I mean, in another life I would probably have been a firefighter, or a policewoman. Definitely not a lawyer, cause all they do is talk. Well, they help people too i guess. No really, Suits is one of my favorite shows. Harvey Specter is… Sorry, I digress. Where am I heading with all this? I just read an article today morning about cyber bullying. This teenager is being tormented, harassed and embarrassed online. He also gets phone calls, texts and sometimes emails that are quite threatening in nature. The kid started failing his academics, stayed in the house more than usual, and dropped from the Music and Netball club. His appetite was off, and he stopped being the energetic child he was- full of life. So yes, he later tried to commit suicide (predictable right?), but thank God he failed. They tried getting him help and he started seeing a shrink…
Okay, this is not the first cyber-bullying story I have come across. It saddens me every single time I read something like this. Poor child, poor teenager, my heart goes out to them… However, I asked myself this question, what if I found out my kid was being bullied? Cyber bullying or even real-life bullying. One is a bit more physical, and the former is more of emotional harassment. Nevertheless, I think bullying is bullying. The effects are more or less the same really. So what would I do?
That’s when i saw this pic on instagram (@comedysnaps)… This post just made me realize how life sometimes is just black and white. Yes some issues have them shades of grey, but most cases are just black and white. So here is what I, would do.
Victim: If I was the person who was being bullied, that first moment somebody tries to pull a move, I block, report and delete a fella. You call and text me threats and hate-filled messages, I delete your messages, and block! You go further and make it physical, I report you and show them the evidence. If, for some reason, everyone on my Facebook account is a hater, I deactivate that account and open a new one. Afterwards, I will only add FRIENDS, people who are generally nice, and maybe my favorite celebrities (shout out to all my #MCMs!). And life goes on. Problem Solved!
Victim’s Friend or Sister: You are bullying my best friend? You gotta be tripping if you think I’ll let you bully my brother, sister, cousin or neighbour. I’ll report you, tell everyone who can help, and get my friend/sister to snap out of it. It’s true that you do not choose to be a victim, but it is also true that, you get to decide whether to stay a victim or not. I will personally have a talk with that bully alright, and if that doesn’t work, well, the whole world will know. The teachers, the parents, the school, your neighbours, your city, your county, your country, my Facebook friends, your Facebook friends, the whole of the internet, technically, the whole world. I will put up a You tube video if I have to. I will make sure everybody knows your name, what you do, and where you live. Message sent!
Victim’s Parent: I will definitely be mindful and keen on my children’s progress, both at home and in school. I would not be that mother who did not know that her child was being bullied for half his life! I will go through his/her phone if I have to. I will then make the teachers and the headmaster, principle and the owner of the school aware. If nothing happens, I will have a talk with the bully and his/her parent. When that doesn’t stop the bullying, I will organize the rest of the parents and teachers to get the bully dropped out of the school. If all fails, I will take my kids to another school that does not just let bullying happen! I will also get them to delete mean and dangerous online characters in their social media accounts, as well as, block them on their mobile phones. Mission accomplished.
When it gets to rape and murder threats, then it’s time to involve the police. Yes, when the threats start bordering towards physical harm, bigger help is required. I repeat, threat. Before it happens, before the words are turned into actions, do something about it. Nip it in the bud. Let us stop talking and start acting. I want to start seeing more stories of how bullying was shut down, how a kid overcame a bullying episode, what was done to stop bullying in a school, how a teenager was saved from more bullying. I want to see more people, and professionals, talking about the solutions and success stories instead of victims, victims, and more victims. Doesn’t this occurrence say something about our society? Cyber bullying should not be a ‘topic’ under discussion, where people compare “unforgettable cyber-bullying cases of the decades” stories, create Facebook pages about or talk comprehensively about the extent of this horrendous act. It should not be a reason to commit suicide or one of the dangers that plague our teenagers. Bad things happen every day. Cyber bullying may not totally and completely be wiped off the planet, but we can still save our young ones. Get them safe and away from it. Let us not give the bullies fodder for their hungry form, eventually, they will just have no victims to torment.
Lastly, let our friends, family and acquaintances know about this. Let them know that they have the power to stop it. They actually can stop being victims and instead become the activists themselves! You want to stop Cyber bullying? Stop acting like victims. You are more. Only you have the right over your life.
MY kids are gonna be like…