By Susie Kroll
Social media such has Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, and Formspring are the tools of a Bully and the tools of a Victim. I’m sure you wonder what I mean.
In today’s society these types of social media can be used by an abuser to taunt, tease, and harass a victim. Before social media, the bullying done to a child ended when school was over. The victim had time to rest, refresh, and bolster up the courage to face the next day of school.
Now, when the victim goes home, they get online; see messages, posts, and other hurtful bullying statements outside of school walls. They, for all intents and purposes, are under attack 24/7. There is no time to breath or recharge. While I believe that no victim should have to recharge, when in the situation of being bullied, a 24/7 attack is much more detrimental. By now, most people think that social media is more of a negative societal attribute rather than a positive one.
On the other side, when a victim feels alone, hurt, and has nowhere to turn, there is social media. We have seen, recently, in the media all of the reports of our kids reaching out for help through Twitter, Facebook, and other forms of social media. The sad end to that is that by the time the information makes it to the masses ears, we have lost another child. Jamey Rodemeyer killed himself after regularly reaching out via social media to anyone that would listen to his cries for help.
Our tweens and teens are reaching out to celebrities, the untouchables, people that, if it weren’t for social media, would probably never be exposed or aware of the cries of a single child. 30 years ago, I couldn’t have reached out to the Beatles for help, if I were being bullied, in the hope that they would understand and try to help me.
Now, teens and tweens are reaching out to celebrities that they feel they can identify with. They are looking for someone to hear their cries. They are looking for someone that has the power to end their problems.
We have the power. Each and every one of us has the ability to become educated, learn the signs, and save a child’s life, before they take it themselves. So, back to social media. I do not think that it is either evil or good. I think social media’s label depends on how we use it. We can use the power of social media to help those in need, educate the masses, and listen to those cries for help.
The moral of the story, the tools that we are presented with are only as good or bad as we make them. Someone can choose to kill someone with a hammer just as they can choose to build a home for someone in need. Social media can be used to belittle and abuse or it can be used to uplift and inspire. Make the choice to be the light in someone’s life instead of the dark.