What ever happened to “Sticks and stones will break my bones, but words will never hurt me.”? Or even the old crowd favorite…”I’m rubber, you’re glue. Whatever you say bounces off of me and sticks to you!” I mean, c’mon. We all heard these growing up. And yes, when we found ourselves needing to say them, usually our feelings were a little bit hurt by somebody saying something mean to us or about us. But I find myself needing to ask…so what? Today I insulted a lady on Facebook because she was trying to say that women who formula feed their babies are lesser than those who breastfeed. In addition to scornfully insulting her for thinking that formula fed babies’ immune systems are worse, and backing that statement up by using my own formula fed children as an example, I ended with “Fed is best”. Now, nobody even got to see my comment because apparently… I was bullying. And… okay. I could have refrained from calling her a name in general. (However, if you saw her comments then I’m sure you would agree. She was extremely condescending and rude). But, calling her stupid was NOT bullying. Albeit, I could have said “You’re not very smart.”, however, I thought a simple “You’re dumb” was much more concise language. But, according to Facebook, that makes me a bully.
So, now I find myself asking….How did we get so soft? How did we get to the point where what amounts to playground arguments (That’s all Facebook really is, you know. A giant playground.) are now considered bullying? Since when is someone being honest a bad thing? Okay, I could understand it if you got seriously personal when arguing with someone, bringing up their appearance, family, sexual orientation, race, gender, what have you. But calling somebody dumb when they’re being dumb? Saying somebody is acting like a female dog, a certain part of the male anatomy, a “starts with an ‘a’ and rhymes with ‘glass bowl'”, or like they Can’t Understand Normal Thinking when they are obviously acting like any of the aforementioned adjectives is now “bullying”? And people wonder why our kids are weak? Why suicide rates in young people are STILL increasing? Why nobody has the wherewithal to succeed without whining that they need help or a handout? THIS is partially why. We’ve become so weak and needy that we can’t even teach our children that not everybody will like them, because nowadays everyone’s self-worth is dependent upon how many “likes” they have! What happened to our backbone, people? What happened to being rubber? We’re acting like words said by strangers on the internet actually affect our daily lives and that is an utterly ridiculous concept. If you can’t handle being called out when you post something ridiculous, then maybe don’t get on the internet. Words are just words until we give them meaning. You choose whether or not to give them power over you. You choose whether you want them to make you feel something or not. You choose how you react to them. Why are we allowing a Social Media Conglomerate to dictate what we can and cannot read or say? If I’m being a C U Next Tuesday, I want to know that I’m being one. Maybe that’s just me, but that type of feedback, and yes, I do mean feedback, is how we learn and grow as people. It’s how we learn to understand how our words affect others. How our tone affects others. If people trying to be honest with us are constantly censored, then how do we grow as socially conscious individuals? Especially if our social interactions are monitored and restricted by Big Daddy Zuckerberg? Not to mention, since when is being mean a crime? I wish it was, because maybe my childhood would not have sucked so much. Unfortunately, not everybody in life is nice. Not everybody you meet is going to be a good person. Some people like to hurt others just because. There will always be these types of people in the world. It’s up to us to be strong enough to deal with it because it’s all just a part of life. If everyone was nice and happy all the time, and there was no conflict or drama whatsoever….well, life would be pretty boring, honestly.
All I’m saying is…Smack-talking is not bullying. Bullying is making fun of someone for something they cannot control. (Appearance, race, sexual orientation, gender, etc.) Using mean words to call someone out on their ridiculousness is not bullying. Potentially being a “glass bowl”… but, well… speak your mind, then. But don’t censor my speech.