Monday, September 15, 2014

Rant #1,289: Cyber Bullying Continues

Just when you thought it was safe to go into the cyber water ...

Cyber bullying is alive and well on the Internet, and Facebook is where it's at.

And unfortunately, Facebook offers no medium to rid oneself of this type of behavior.

I have been the victim of cyber bullying a few times on Facebook over the years. Funny, I hesitated joining up to the social media service for a relatively long time because I felt that this was a place where people aren't immune from this type of behavior--my daughter went through something when she was a young teenager that I won't go into here--but after a while, I felt it was the place to be, so I joined.

And as I predicted, I saw cyber bullying of others, and later myself, which firmed up my belief.

Heck, some young kids have committed suicide after being taken over the coals by others.

Me, as an adult, I basically just shrug my shoulders, wondering what all the fuss is about.

The latest incident I was in happened just over the past few days.

Someone I am linked to through my network of my old neighborhood put up a photo of former MLB pitcher Dwight Gooden, who, as you probably know, was one of the rising stars in sports about 30 years ago, but gave it all up for a life of drugs and degradation.

Anyway, they saw him wherever they were at, took his picture, and lauded him as "such a nice guy," and then several people followed with some more flowery praise for this guy.

I posted on the thread, saying in the light of all that is going on in the NFL with players abusing their spouses and their families, Gooden is one not to praise, but almost to pity, because this "nice guy" has a rap sheet longer then your arm.

He has been in jail a few times, he has abused drugs, he has neglected his family, he has threatened his spouse/girlfriend (I forget which one, maybe both); and he owes thousands of dollars in child support ... and almost more importantly, has never shown much remorse for his action, not yet coming to grips with the fact that he has deep-seated problems.

This is a nice guy?

And with the NFL players' problems becoming not just top sports news, but page one news, this is not someone anybody should be lauding as much as they were here.

Well, this set off a firestorm of response from people to me, and it wasn't pretty.

People knocked me with reckless abandon. The person who put up the post--who I never, ever had any problems with, and whose husband I was friendly with in the old days--called me some names and said I should take my negativity elsewhere.

Another guy actually threatened me to fisticuffs, which led to him posting such negative, anti-Semitic comments to me on Facebook messages that I blocked him after unsuccessfully trying to report his tirades to Facebook. Any yes, he is, himself, Jewish.

And what's more, other people "liked" what people said about me. The original poster deleted my comments, but, of course, left on the comments knocking me and my character for all to see.

Look, I am a big boy and I can take all this nonsense, where perhaps a younger person would take this stuff differently--and more personally--then I do.

But the vociferousness of some people toward me is astounding.

I mean, these people are in their 50s as I am, and they act, in unison, as if they are about nine or 10 years of age, with a vicious streak the length of the Great Wall of China. Any word against them is taken as a word against humanity, and they strike back with a viciousness that really, I am perhaps naively astounded by, even though it has happened to me before and happens to others on a regular basis.

I tried to make amends with the original poster, but she is so poisoned by others that she looks at me like some sort of pariah.

And the ganging up is really something, cyber bullying at its very, very worst--and most obvious.

What more can I say?

This stuff still exists, so be very, very aware of it when you post something on Facebook.

Like I just said, I am a big boy, I can take it, but the lengths that people will go to cyber assault others really is incredible, unnecessary, anti-social and completely anti-human, to coin a phrase.

Let's all move on from this, and not take things so personally in the future.

I know I will.

And in parting, I have to say that we all must move on from this type of nonsense, because Facebook refuses to put in any safeguards to prevent it.

They should be ashamed of themselves, and held accountable for these type of actions, the actions of their members, people that they allow to post such nonsense with reckless abandon.

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