Why You Gotta Be So Mean?

As someone who frequents social media outlets such as Twitter and Facebook, I have noticed that over time it has become the norm for teens to harass others behind the computer screen. Bullying has taken on a new trend: anyone can post anything they want, about anyone they want, with almost no consequences (where I live, there are no laws preventing online bullying). All I want to know is…why is everyone online so mean?

While many people are careful about what they post, I know of many others who write things I’m sure they’d be too afraid to say out loud. People post racist, homophobic, and sexist statements on Facebook without a second thought. I, along with friends and family, have been the victims of this online harassment.

After much thought, I feel that there are three main reasons as to why people are mean online:

1. Attention

Many people feel ignored in their offline lives, and they crave any kind of attention. In order to achieve this, they do what they know will give them attention: post controversial/mean things online.

2. Insecurity

People who crave attention also have insecurity issues and feel jealous of those who (online, at least) appear to be happy/successful/popular. In order to build up their egos, these people attack others in hopes of making themselves feel better.

3. It’s easy

Anyone in the world can sit in front of a screen, type a thought, and click “Post.” Anyone can be an online bully, whether you’re 12, 92, male, female, gay, straight, black, white. There is no “Internet Police” to even give you a slap on the wrist. You are free to write whatever you think, no matter how hurtful that may be to someone else.

I myself have taken a firm stand against any type of bullying, online bullying especially, since it’s the most popular method these days. I hope others feel the same way and want to fight against bullies.

To any readers: Have you ever been bullied, online or otherwise? How did it make you feel? Have you ever been the bully? How has bullying others affected your life?

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