From the time we become teenagers to the later years of adulthood, we continuously come across people who judge us negatively and bully us for things that aren't in our control. From our looks to how we speak and where we live, we don't get to choose these things yet have to suffer being mocked and made fun of for them.
Due to reasons that escape me, people seem to think it's okay to be harsh and cruel to one another. They make fun of people they somehow see as 'lesser' than them and brush it off as just joking – not realizing the immense trauma and hurt they could be causing the victim.
And what's worse is that the Internet seems to be fueling the problem.
Cyberbullying At Its Peak
In our world of developing technology, this bullying is shifted to the Internet, with people leaving horrible comments and reactions across all social media platforms. They seem to forget that behind the screen is a real person who will be directly affected by their mean jokes and negative comments. It can be so distressing for their mental health, but these Internet trolls only care about their entertainment at the expense of others.
Reports show how over 40% of adults on the Internet experience bullying in some form, with the teen victimization rates being at an all-time high in 2020. How sad is it that we can't let people be happy and encourage their creativity instead of trying to bring them down?
Another prominent issue people face is comparing yourself to 'better off' people and not realizing the things posted online don't always depict reality. Netflix's The Social Dilemma gave us a more in-depth look at how social media was designed to seduce people into an endless cycle of comparisons. It even discussed "Snapchat Dysmorphia," which diminishes our ability to differentiate between reality and the filtered life behind our Snapchat stories – leading to an increase in plastic surgeries to look better.
The Importance of Being Kinder
I am sure we all have friends and family who have been the victims of such vicious cyberbullying that it left them in tears and shattered their self-confidence. There are always people who think it's okay to mention that you look fat in your display picture or talk about how the video you spent days shooting is dumb and boring.
It's time to stop these ugly practices and realize how much better the world can be if we were all kinder to each other and ourselves.
Subjecting yourself and others to needless comparisons is a waste of precious energy. Instead of appreciating the good things, you create jealousy and resentment, making people feel bad about their hard-earned achievements.
Instead, I encourage you to try being supportive – the result of a simple "good job!" or "I'm so proud of you" can do wonders and make someone's entire day better.
When we live and let live, everyone ends up happier and healthier. I encourage you to ask yourself why focus on the bad when there is good to celebrate in our world? Let's make a promise to be kind to ourselves and extend that kindness to others too. Let’s be the gentler change we wish to see in others.