Week 28: Cyber Bullying, a Lesson for this New-Aged Mom

I had a whole blog post written up for my last two weeks that had to do with my pregnancy personally and traveling while pregnant, but I think the dicussion for cyber bullying is much more necessary.

Cyberbullying is bullying that takes place using electronic technology. Electronic technology includes devices and equipment such as cell phones, computers, and tablets as well as communication tools including social media sites, text messages, chat, and websites. – What Is Cyberbullying

I posted a photo on my facebook recently of a picture of the expectant and new mom parking spots and stated that I thought they should be in the back of the parking lot to promote good health. I used the word “lazy”, which in hindsight was a bad choice of adjective, but I am still a human like all the people on facebook that saw it and I still believe that those parking spots are silly for the majority of pregnant women. I apologized several times for the bad word choice but I was still verbally harassed and attacked by a few people that were my “friends” on Facebook.

This got me thinking. I had great discussions with people of all economic classes, people with a wide variety of health issues and people of every different education level. The verdict was interesting. Only about 5 % of the people I discussed this with in person and even with the facebook “likes and comments”, and most people agreed that if you are pregnant you are not handicap and should park wherever. It also opened my eyes to how many people (moms mostly) contacted me through private messages saying they completely agreed with me but knew there would be the few people that would be extremely rude and defensive and didn’t want to be apart of it. I completely understand not wanting to take the heat I took!

Then I got to even more thinking… what is cyber bullying? How am I going to have to deal with this as a mother? How can I protect my children from this, when I never had the experience as a vulnerable child? Can I even protect my children or just educate them about it?

I got to doing research, and the effects for adults and children is very very sad to me. I thankfully had a great support team yesterday with the 4 women that were getting personally aggressive with me. What about those that don’t choose the kinder path as I did? Cyber bullying can lead to poor mental health and permanent mental disease, lower self-esteem, it can lead to using drugs or alcohol to cope, it can lead to missing work or school because of fear, it can even lead to suicide. Suicide?! I don’t want to bring my children up in a world that has so much hate and anger, that she could be a target to other’s cyber bullying… This is a problem we must address now for everyone’s sake.

How to address it? I learned first hand how mean and nasty people can be if they take an opinion personally and lash out. I have to say that the activists, celebrities, athletes and all other people in a public role model position are not people I would want to be. How the hell do they keep their cool when people feel the need to say the most awful assumptions about them on faceless social media? I really do have a lot of respect for how they stay calm, quiet and respectful to such losers. Yes I said losers, and no I won’t apologize. People that enjoy a fight and hurting others are losers in my mind. At least when I was a homeless drug addict I only hurt myself, except the few I stole from. Which I have apologized for to those people after getting clean, but that’s a whole other topic.

With all this thinking and researching I am now an advocate to stop cyber bullying. It is wrong and I will fight against it everyday until everyone I love is safe on social media. We owe it to each other as the human race to protect one another from physical and mental harm.

I am so proud of myself for how I handled the comments yesterday. I have had these doubts about being a good mother. How am I going to be able to teach patience and love all the time to my children. Yesterday I proved to myself that I can keep my character high and send love and kindness even under attack. That’s all I can ask for from myself as a mother. Teach love always.

“I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear.” – Dr. Martin Luther King