1. It Helps No One
You may think that you're defending your celeb idol or the cute kid in your class or the sports team that you love, but in reality, you're not defending or saving anyone. In fact, I can almost guarantee that they don't appreciate the help. Don't believe me, ask them.
2. It Doesn't Make You More Important
That temporary feeling of power that you get because people from all over the world are reading what YOU wrote, that feeling that you are somehow a part of something bigger as you throw out words filled hate, ignorance, and intolerance...that is an illusion that fades as quickly as sunset. And for those of you who think that the celebrity, political figure, or writer that you are shaming is "too famous" and probably won't ever see your words let alone be hurt by them...think again . Despite what you may think, fame or notoriety DOES NOT equal blindness.
3. You and the Social Media Profile That You Create Are One and the Same
It is NOT OK to bully or tease or threaten a life as a joke or otherwise online, and then go about your daily life as a daughter, son, father, mother, husband, or wife as if nothing has happened. You are not 2 different people, and you are accountable for everything that you say, especially to or about another human being on the Internet. Rule of thumb: if you wouldn't say it to the world in a presidential address or as a part of your Oscar acceptance speech or even to the children in your lives, don't post it online. Just DON'T.
4. Stating an Opinion and Bullying Are Not the Same Thing
The first is just expressing your view of the world, your personal perspective (something that social media was, one could argue, created for). The second is directly and purposefully harming another human being without cause or justice. It's shameful. Saying "I'm just sayin" or "I can say what I want" or even "it's freedom of speech" doesn't make it less ignorant or pitiful, and it DEFINITELY doesn't make it OK.
5. We Are Better Than this
Our lives, however big or small we think they are,....they matter. OTHER HUMAN BEINGS MATTER. Celebrities (and not just the ones you love and are following on Twitter, Vine, YouTube, and Snapchat)...they matter. That little girl or boy who you told to "kill yourself" in a moment of twisted humor on the Internet before high-fiving your friends. HE MATTERS. SHE MATTERS. People with different political beliefs, religious backgrounds, and social classes? THEY MATTER. They matter because they have hearts and minds and souls and purpose and the capacity and ability to love others without abandon...just..like...YOU.
So don't waste it. Stop cyber bullying, in any and all forms, today.
If you or someone you know has experienced cyber bullying and needs help, or you just want more information about what you can do to stop it, visit http://www.cybersmile.org/.