Why hello there!
So. With all of this *temporary time on my hands* I’ve definitely had my fill of searching for jobs, anxiously waiting to hear back from businesses, staying up late, exercising (yes, I did say “exercising”), watching Duck Dynasty with my parents (no comment), and exploiting Netflix for all it’s worth.
According to Netflix, I’m schizophrenic. No, really. It doesn’t know whether to recommend more vampire shows, the latest rom coms, or british sci fi. I like to think I’m no respecter of television genres. Well, most of them.
Aside from that, I actually re-watched a film called Cyberbully, which really caught my attention. As I said, I’ve seen it before, and since then, I’ve done quite of bit of research on cyberbullying. I also conducted a little social experiement of my own for an english class, in which I set up a fake Facebook profile to prove how easily bullies and cyber-criminals can communicate with, well, us. Don’t worry, I never put anyone in harm or threatened anyone. This was purely an academic assignment.
It definitely seems that cyber-stuff has become the topic of many a conversation these days. And I guess in some ways, that’s a good thing. Online harassment should be anything but ignored. And although this issue has me thinking about the future, and our obligation to make it a safer place, it also has me thinking back to my own middle school years, when AIM, MySpace, and Facebook first waltzed into our lives.
It’s made me think back to when what everyone thought of me online meant the world to me. I know I’m not alone when I say how obsessed we girls were about talking to our crushes in a chat or whatever it was called (ohgoshohgoshohgosh does this mean I’m getting old?).
Either way it’s funny. When I was younger I used to believe that molehills were mountains. Also, that I would marry a Jonas brother, but that’s beside the point.
I guess what I’m trying to say is that I wish I could talk to middle school me. I would tell her that real friends don’t just “accept” you online. They stick with you through thick and thin. They love you even when you aren’t wearing makeup. In my experience, they make music videos to punk rock songs with you and laugh about it years later. They give you space and let you grow, but are never far behind when you need a hug or a good cry. If you’re lucky, they will be with you ten years and counting, reminiscing about the good times you’ve had together.
Today, a lot of drama takes place online. For those who’ve endured it, or know someone who now is, know that there’s a bigger picture. A life outside of all those flakey “friends.” I would offer that it’s better to pour energy and love into the people who live and laugh with you outside of social media sites. And if someone says something hurtful about you online, know that their words don’t define you.
All of this said, I’m thinking about doing a segment on this blog, offering advice to middle school me. Let me know what you think!
Thanks for reading!
*read last post here