Hayley’s Hot Topic: How hard is it to just be nice to people?

Hayley Tomich ‘14
Opinions Editor

 

Patrick Moran ’14 sits down at his kitchen table, phone in hand. He eats a bowl of soup while scrolling through his Twitter feed. Even while doing simple tasks such as eating, Moran has to have his phone next to him.
There is no doubt that social media has become an intricate part of almost every teenagers’ life. Social media sites ranging from Twitter to Facebook to Instagram to Vine have taken over the lives of teenagers. Teenagers now have several options as to where they will post the details of their great weekend or where they will complain about how much homework they have, but some teens are taking social media to a completely different level.
Cyber bullying is harassing others through a computer. With the number of social media sites in use today, cyber bullying is increasing. People no longer need to approach someone face to face in order to bully them. Now, it is as simple as typing a few words into a smart phone.
Cyber bullying can be something as simple as sub-tweeting someone, which is tweeting about someone but not tagging their name in it. The problem with this is if everyone knows a certain argument is going on between two people, and someone in the argument tweets about the other person, everyone who sees that tweet automatically knows who it is about. With this being the case, sub-tweeting is almost the equivalent of a full-on conversation.
Putting your drama on a social media site is not only immature, but also it can really hurt someone’s feelings. I know that I’ve heard this speech what seems like a million times throughout my high school career, but what is put on the internet cannot be erased. Since this is true, I don’t understand why people think it is okay to post awful things about another person on a social media site. If the tables were turned, that person who posted a cruel status about another would not like it if one of their friends posted a status just as mean about them.
Employers and colleges often check social media sites of the applicants to their school or business. A Twitter page full of insults or jokes made about others is not appealing. I think that it is trashy and degrading to create a post that puts another student down.
I think that this all comes down to the fact that people will do anything to receive attention from their peers. With that being said, I think that publishing harsh posts about another person creates negative attention, not positive attention. I personally would never praise anyone who said something degrading about another on a social media site.
I’ve heard many stories about students becoming depressed or committing suicide because of cyber bullying, and I think that alone should give everyone a reason to stop cyber bullying. Everyone has his or her own struggles, and calling someone out on a site where everyone can see it could possibly set someone over the edge. Even though the saying is juvenile, I truly believe you should treat people the way you want to be treated.
Cyber bullying can be avoided, if people learn to simply be nice and considerate of others’ feelings. It is easy to hide behind a computer or phone screen, but the consequences are very extreme. Think before you speak, but more importantly, think before you type.