With online being an anonymous space where you can literally type anything you want without having to account for it, and the internet being an easier forum for interactivity thanks to the evolution of the web in the past two decades, it’s now easier and easier for one to post hate against others and get away with it.
Check out this comment which I received this morning after I woke up, all ready to write my current book project (this was posted in response to my Celes.TV interview on YouTube, on “How to Score a GPA of 3.98/4.00“):
*stfu stands for “shut the f*** up”, basically a very rude way of telling people to “stuff it”
My first thought was, What was that all about?!?
While I subconsciously deleted the comment right away, it didn’t take a few seconds for me to realize this would be an excellent chance to use this as an example to make a stance for myself and stand up against online bullying. I’ve been reading a lot about cyberbullying in recent news and it’s saddening to read about people entering into depression, some suicide, due to hate speech online.
Though not common, I do get abusive comments against myself every now and there. Which is funny considering my work is about encouraging people to pursue the higher path.
So I undid the comment delete and posted the following response:
Unfortunately YouTube automatically removes any reported comment, so the original comment has been removed from the video thread. (Also didn’t get to correct my grammatical typo before I took the screenshot too.) I actually wanted to have it up as an example to how one should deal with online bullying… at least I took a screenshot and have the chance to share it here.
To be honest, I just found that individual’s rage amusing. I can only assume it’s a guy due to the way the comment was written. I guess there are all kinds of things that tick people off in this world? An anger management lesson may help.
Here’s how to stand up for yourself this new year:
- If someone is (repeatedly) hurling verbal abuse at you, don’t let the behavior perpetuate. Make a stance about his/her abuse. If it’s physical abuse, then please contact your local authorities or social services right away.
- In your response, assert your rights as a person. Inform the person on what he/she did wrong that violated your rights and was rude/disrespectful to you.
- Always, always, focus on the person’s misconduct and not his/her character, otherwise it would be no different from making a personal attack. Read: How to Give Constructive Criticism in 6 Steps.
- Choose the moral high ground. Just because someone hurls abuses at you doesn’t mean you should do the same. Don’t shame, don’t bully, and don’t promote hate speech. Be kind yet firm in your response. Be the example to the person on what respectful conduct should be.
- Spread love. Everyone deserves a second chance, so unless it’s an unforgivable and unredeemable offence, try to give the benefit of the doubt and assume he/she bullied you in a moment of misguided behavior. Try to be as open and supportive as possible.
More on dealing with hate:
- My Experience Being Bullied by Customs Officers (and 10 Tips to Handle Bullying)
- How to Create a Better Internet for Everyone
- Reading Hate Mail [Video]