Bully For You
I'm sure you've seen this before. I'm sure you have seen this all over Facebook, or where I found it, Pinterest. You have probably seen it in your email. Obviously you would have seen something like it all over the internet over the years. It's something you think about when your kid comes home crying because someone said something mean or did something mean to them. Now, I have an 18yr old daughter (I know!) and she knows how to handle herself pretty well. She tends to evaluate things before jumping headfirst into dark waters. She'll stick her toes in to see if the water is too cold or if there are rocks she'll hit her head on. However, this post isn't about my child, it's about another child. A child that I haven't even met, but hope to someday.
I hear good things about her. How much this girl loves school and loves learning and how the past month or so it's been absolute hell. It all started online.
Dear Parents: If your child is not old enough, or mature enough (yes, they are two different things) to have an online account then the last thing you want to do is allow it. It can cause problems that they aren't ready to handle.
It wasn't even her. Someone who already had an online profile changed the display name to hers and started commenting on other people's profiles as her. Nasty things, mean things. No one believed her that it wasn't her acount. Verbal abuse, physical attacks all on school property. The school refuses to get involved because it started online. They don't really know anything about those social media sites. They can't do anything about it. We all work to get the profile removed under grounds of impersonation and bullying. It came down for two or three days, then was reactivated and it started all over again.
Things got bad.
It took awhile but the profile has been permanantly removed. However these things never truly end. There was a group started, listing members even, that had mean and horrible things to say. Hopefully this is gone as well. I know that two of the children involved in the bullying had their online profiles deleted by the parents. They started being nice again as well. Unfortunately, some of these children have moved onto someone else. Same thing about creating a profile in the child's name and posting mean things as them. However, we are hoping that it will get stopped a hell of a lot faster.
In trying to contact the social media site we learned that there isn't any live support. I find this to be appalling on so many levels. You can't call anyone to assist you. You can't email them either. I'm not even sure how you would contact them if you didn't have a profile on their site, though there is supposed to be a way.
There were a lot of things learned during this whole crazy thing. I wish that others didn't have to go through this at all. Life is hard enough without having to cause someone so much pain and anguish in order to make yourself feel superior. That feeling doesn't last all that long anyway and at the end of the day you are worse off than you were at the beginning.
Please stop and think before you speak. If you need help in that department, feel free to read a post I wrote not too long ago about how to do so: T.H.I.N.K.