I have never been a fan of bullying and shaming, like many; I was picked on and bullied during childhood and adolescents. Thinking about those times never feels good. A particular incident that happened in Junior High where my locker was vandalized and my personal property destroyed can still make me feel queasy when I reflect upon it. What I went through as a kid was difficult but I think it is nothing compared to what is going on now with the open Internet.
As humans, being shamed is one of the worse things that can happen to us. Research tells us that interpersonal rejection is as painful as being physically assaulted and may even have greater consequences. Yet both adults and kids alike are using the Internet to shame and bully people all over the place. It seems to me that more and more people do not care about what they say and who they may hurt.
So, this morning when I came across this YouTube on my facebook page, I was very please. In it Monica Lewinsky speaks out about cyberbullying and Internet shaming calling us back to compassion and empathy. In this world of yelp, twitter, facebook and other open social media platforms, she encourages us to think about how others may be impacted by our words. Bullying hurts, regardless.
Evelyn Schmechtig Cochran