As a larger person, I’ve experienced cruelty online before. As a woman of color, same thing. I mean, here I am doing my thing and people just love to be evil for no reason. I really hate that. So, tonight I found out about a horrible Instagram account trying to egg on a suicidal girl to actually kill herself.
That’s beyond sick! Why do people feel so compelled to reach down into the depths of their dark side to be so callous and hateful? Not that I’d want this young lady to die, but, what happens if she decides to end her life because of this cruel behavior? Is the person who made the account really going to be satisfied, knowing they pretty much assisted in her death? That’s an awfully heavy weight to carry for the rest of someone’s life.
Maybe that’s hard to understand. Because, I know people will be like “it’s just words”. But it’s not. If words have the power to affect the water we drink, I promise you it has even MORE power to affect people. It’s not “just words” to some people. What’s so hard about NOT being cruel? Sarcasm, sure. I can be a bit of a sauce pot myself. But I’d never go so far as to make an account and tell someone “kill yourself”. Not even as a joke.
Thankfully, a search seems to come up empty. I think the page is gone. In any case, it just hit me in my soul. There are way too many stories being told of people who feel alone and hopeless, buying into the crappy and heartless words of others. I hate that people actually take this kind of joy and time to hurt others. Sometimes when confronted, they don’t even care. It’s all a game and it’s “just online”. Yet, we never know a person’s struggle. We never know what that person’s doing behind the screen.
This young lady had the aid of the Internet to help stop something messed up from happening. She had support. What about the souls who don’t have that support? Anonymous cruelty is the worst. This was her case. So, what broken soul felt the need to create an account just for the purpose of being cruel to her?
When the cruelty is emotionally charged, I feel sorry for everyone involved. Not only for the target, but also for the person who felt the need to express whatever’s wrong in such a deeply negative way. I don’t know Jessica personally, but, whatever happened couldn’t have been so bad that possibly triggering her to the point of death was necessary.
I’m always impressed by the power of the tumblr signal boost, however. That’s why I think a lot of people treasure the community. Sure, there’s drama and racism and sexism and a lot of -isms period….but there’s also a lot of boosting and helping and caring. Because a lot of survivors and allies and advocates are gathering and using their powers to make things in this world somewhat better.
When I was coming up as a teen, I really wish tumblr had been around.