Today’s social media is ever changing, but so is online bullying and hate. It’s turned from a simple “this picture is ugly,” to full-fledged hate accounts on various social media platforms.
Online bullying impacts everyone differently. Some people are able to blow it off and show that it doesn’t bother them, while other people aren’t so lucky.
I wasn’t one of the lucky ones. I’ve had my Twitter account for about two years now. In the past six months, I had grown 18K+ followers. Everything was going great, I had people following me who genuinely enjoyed me. I had gotten the occasional DM bashing me for buying Twitter followers. Those didn’t really bother me because I knew the truth, I didn’t buy followers. I had gotten followers by being nice to people and by being myself. I didn’t think that someone would hate me.
I had gotten a message from someone asking me what website I used to buy followers, how I got followers without buying them, and if I could shout them out. I responded that I didn’t buy followers so I didn’t know of any websites. Apparently that wasn’t good enough for them. The next message was asking if I could shout them out. I politely turned them down and told them I don’t do shout outs. Again, this wasn’t good enough.
This person had changed their whole entire account and started sending me hate. Their username had changed and their layout was making fun of the one I had at the time. I had dealt with my fair share of rude people so it didn’t bother me. I didn’t bother me until they started tweeting me.
This all started to take place at a bad point in my life.
I wasn’t happy at the time so every time I would get a tweet from this person, I felt like I deserved it. At that time in my life, I didn’t understand that I hadn’t done anything to them and it wasn’t my fault.
I took every message I was sent to heart. Every message that told me to kill myself, every message that told me I should stop obsessing over “those stupid band boys” because I would never get to meet them, and every other message they sent me.
This went one for months and the more messages I got, the worse my depression got. I stopped hanging out with friends, I stopped talking for awhile, I stopped being me. It took months before anyone actually realized something was wrong with me and I hadn’t been acting right. I finally realized that it wasn’t my fault for this person not liking me and I didn’t deserve the hate I was getting. I started reporting messages/tweets I was being sent and I blocked any new account that was made. I took me awhile to get back to my normal self, but I finally did. This bullying made me a completely different person.
Most people don’t believe that online bullying is a serious issue. 33% – 43% of all teens will be cyber bullied. It will happen to 1 in 4 teens more than once. Bullying online can lead to depression, increased risk of suicide, sleeping problems, anxiety, and so much more. This can all be stopped.
This can all be stopped by letting kids know that they have someone to turn to when bullying starts.If you feel as though you don’t have someone, there’re steps you can do on your own. Report any messages you receive, block whoever sent them, get off that social media platform, or even turn off your phone/tablet/computer/etc.
If you or someone you know is a victim of online bullying, don’t be afraid to let someone know and report your bully.