Have you ever posted something that you regretted? How about, taken down something from social media because you were embarrassed you posted it? I know I have done that before. Old selfies I took in middle school making the duck face, old “like for honest opinion” posts on Facebook. We have all been there before no matter
what it was. Sometimes people make mistakes, and that is okay. The problem isn’t the mistake, the problem is the shaming that comes along with the mistake. Being on social media a good portion on my life I have seen a lot of public shaming. Someone makes one mistake, whether it be on social media or not, and we pounce on it like its the last piece of pizza at a party. We rip people apart by throwing in our opinions and making them feel ashamed of what they have done. Sometimes it goes so far, it becomes cyerbullying. I think it is about time we changed that.
Everyone has heard about Monica Lewinsky. I mean, come on, there are even rap songs made about her. She made a mistake back in 1998 when she was only 22 years old. She was only two years older than me when her whole life was flipped upside down. In the Ted Talk with Monica Lewinsky she talks about how she was almost humiliated to death after this scandal broke loose. Audio tapes were aired on TV and even thrown online, photos, private words and actions were out for everyone to see. After going through all of this, she wants to stand up and show that she can survive. She talks about how shame cannot survive empathy and we need to start showing more compassion. We need to realize that there is a person behind this story. There is a human that you are bullying and picking apart. I agree with Monica Lewinsky, it’s time for us to make a change. It is time for us to stop killing each other online over mistakes that we have made. We need to start showing each other compassion and empathy. We can do this by understanding that there is a real person behind all of this and what we are saying can really hurt them. In an article written by The New York Times called, Monica Lewinsky is Back, but This Time It’s On Her Terms, Monica tells us more about her story. She wants to tell her story and use it to help others. I think what Monica is doing is brave and shows much courage. I think she is preaching the right things and if we follow her, social media can become a better place. Where there is less bullying and more compassion.
Monica Lewinsky isn’t the only one who has made a mistake and paid for it. Justine Sacco made one tweet that turned her life upside down as well. One tweet that ruined the life of Justine Sacco. The New York Times article talks about what Justine has gone through. The shaming became so bad it caused her to lose her job. Maybe the tweet in general would have made her lose her job, but because of how people reacted and blew it up on social media, forced her out of her job. Justine is not the only one who has faced this. Lindsey Stone lost her job over a picture. Alicia Ann Lynch lost her job over a
halloween costume. Adria Richards lost her job over one post she made. Referee, John Higgins , was forced to go to law enforcement after being a referee at a basketball game. When is enough, enough? We are bullying people online and are satisfied with ourselves. People post mean and rude comments about someone and get likes and retweets. When are we going to realize that this is not what social media is for? We need to start making a change in how we use social media before it gets much worse.
A site that was created to help stop this cyberbullying was called TrollBusters. This site was created by Michelle Ferrier to combat trolling and online harassment and provide people with support. There are three elements to this online site, Online rescue service, Support center, and Exterminate ‘troll nests’. Each one provides a different outlet for women online. More of these sites need to be created. It is important that we come up with ways to combat this public shaming. No one deserves to feel ashamed and afraid to go out in public. It is time we make a difference.