Monday, December 5, 2011

Bullies Beware: The Internet is Here

So, we have heard a lot about cyber-bullying these past few years. We have also seen how Facebook and other social sites can put us in touch with old friends, family, loved ones, teachers, and anyone else; including bullies of years gone by.

Yes, the tides may be turning, and dangerously, in favor of the picked-on kids. In generations past, if a kid bullied us in school, we eventually grew up, moved away, our appearances and lives changed, and that was that. The bully was nothing more than a memory which leaves a bad taste in our mouths. Today, however, just about everyone is a mere Google search away. And that is very, very bad for schoolyard bullies.

Here’s the scenario: You are sitting home alone one night, bored out of your mind. Suddenly, and for no particular reason, the kid who used to beat you up on a bi-weekly basis in Junior High comes to mind. After some thought, you remember the asshole’s name.

A quick Facebook search tells you that he’s still in the same town where the two of you went to school. Just a little more digging, and you have his home and work addresses, and you aren’t thirteen anymore. Revenge plans swirl through your mind like a dust-devil in a summertime breeze.

Does this happen? You bet it does. Fake temporary accounts are easily made, and can net great results in something like the above situation. Bullies are not nearly as safe today as they were just ten years ago. Be careful how you treat others because, as with a serious crime, wronging the nerdy kid in school can come back to bite you many, many years later.

Please, just be nice to each other. It’s all fun and games when you shove around the 90-pound kid with glasses but twenty years later, after that kid has received his black belt in Tae Kwon Do and holds a hell of a grudge, things could get a little dicey. Just saying.


Michelle L. Devon said...

Sounds like a good plot for Derek's next short story, no?

Derek Odom said...

Haha, there's definitely a story here...

Sevastian Winters said...

Could be a full on novel, actually.

Jenny said...

I wasn't really "bullied" so to speak when I was in school. I was just treated like shit, ie: left out, ignored, lied about, etc. Never pushed around or anything. Funny thing is though, and this bugs the fuck out of me, my husband is friends today with almost everyone who was a dick to me in school back then. I just can't win :(