Thoughtful Thursday: Cyber-Bullying in the Pinteresting Blogosphere

Thoughtful Thursday

Let me just start by saying, I knew this hate existed before today…or yesterday.  Recent events in my life have regurgitated my disgust for this practice.

When did cyber-bullying by adults become acceptable?

I recently spent a week teaching Internet safety lessons to my students (state-mandated lessons, by the way), and as I taught the scripted lessons on cyber-bullying, netiquette (you know a term has gone far too viral when it passes spell check), keeping safe online, choosing acceptable user names and passwords, and intellectual property protection, all I could think was “There are far too many ADULTS online that are guilty of each of these.”

I even mentioned one case to my students.  An extremely popular blogger (who has her own show on Food Network–have I narrowed it down enough for you yet?) being parodied and outright character-defamed by sites parodying her blog.  If it were simple, “we don’t like her because of x, y, or z,” that would be something I disagree with…but fine.  But when you stage a Lucille Ball lookalike doll in frankly obscene positions and imply the blogger has extramarital affairs that would make a philandering politician proud but you do so on the guise of being “funny” or “cute,” you make me want to regurgitate…literally and copiously.

Guess what, y’all?  A blog is not real life.  I’ll go ahead and keep it as real as I can right now.  My son is sometimes (often) not a perfect angel.  We are usually the parents you stare daggers at when our child screams/throws a fit/cries/whines in public.  My husband and I argue like an old married couple.  (If you are a couple that never argues, please let me know.  And by a couple, I mean someone not in the first throes of love or lust.)  There are days when I’m doing good to get my hair scraped off of my face.  My collective family recently howled in laughter when I mentioned carrying a purse–and makeup!–around in public.  I am not Susie Sunshine or Susie Homemaker; there’s a reason that you see EDITED glimpses of my house.

My blog is where I can record what I need to and want to.  If you choose to read, great.  If you move on, that’s okay, too.

I try not to judge other bloggers.  Unless they are mean-spirited, libelous, character defaming, obscene rags that I’m thankful are not printed on paper because then I might be forced to line the cat’s litter box with them.

Or snooty.  Or snotty.  Those make me angry, too.

Parodies and satire have always made me uncomfortable.  Making fun of someone at their expense.  Doesn’t seem too aboveboard to me.  In fact, it seems like bullying.  So, in effect, if you make a blog in parody to a blog as a satire, aren’t you then (OMG the horror) cyber bullying?

By the way, bloggers that cyber bully tend to get a bit up in arms when you call them on it.  “It’s a parody,” they bleat.  “It’s meant to be funny!”

Also, and here’s a point that cannot be underestimated, bloggers who are of a like mindset (as the parodying obscene cyber bully) refer to that site as useful and funny.   Hmmm…that means that you are the “queen of the clique”‘s sycophant…another mean girl.  In effect, you have cheapened and denigrated your own argument, if there ever were any merit to it.

Yes, I have, as one blog stated, “drunk the Kool-Aid.”  And let me tell you, it tasted uber-delicious with a side of Pioneer Woman’s pico de gallo.  Oh, by the way, to the anti-P-Dubs (kinda like the anti-Christs; I find that appellation kind of fitting considering the underpinnings of what else is spewed on those anti-blogs), I could be wrong, but there’s not one micro-gram of butter in the pico.  If I’m not completely mistaken, it may actually be (not only not-calorie-laden) a negative calorie food.  OMG the shockers! (mean, cyber bully, valley girl speak intended to be mean to the mean girls out there who sit in judgment behind the anonymity of their computer screens)

(Takes a deep breath as my blood pressure spikes and my anger reaches heights unknown)

By the way, just to trash the cutesy, “Sux” is actually spelled “sucks,” in case you are wondering.  I mean, journalistic integrity is obviously not the forte of someone who has a site with the title “_________________ _________________ Sux,” but I thought I would add that little spelling tidbit for your typo.  Yes.  There is actually a site called that.

I almost don’t want to blog anymore because I don’t want to be associated under the same appellation as someone who cyber bullies behind a blog.

Oh, and by the way, if you look really really carefully at other “mommy” blogs, you will find out that some of them (the more successful ones) are less than forthcoming about the fact they have personal (slaves) assistants, full-time babysitters, etc.  But those are the ones who undoubtedly the anti-P-Dubs love.  And worship at the altar of.

Part of me (the small-minded, mean part of me–yes, that part of me exists) wants to find all blogs that positively mention the hater blogs (I mean, honestly, you can call it what you want, but let’s be perfectly honest…it’s hating) and find something negative to say about one of their posts.  I thought about that for half a second.

But, then, I realized that I would be putting myself on their level.  And I don’t want to be like them.  At all.  I don’t even want to acknowledge that I’m of the same species.

Yes, I realize the Internet is the ultimate freedom of speech and press platform, but, as adults, don’t we have the responsibility to be adults?  Again, I could be wrong, I haven’t read every entry of the hated blog since 2006, but I don’t remember her mentioning anything mean spirited on her blog.  Self-deprecating, tons of times.  Mean?  Sorry.  ‘Doesn’t ring a bell.

Maybe what really frosts my cookies is that (just as it’s okay to poke fun of fat people), it’s also now okay to poke fun of someone for their religious or political beliefs.  How is that okay?  I’m reminded of a scene in To Kill a Mockingbird when Scout makes the adults feel shame for their actions and makes them go away.  What is it going to take for these mean people to feel shame?  To go away?

Has the Internet robbed, stolen from people the emotion of shame when they realize they have been needlessly mean, needlessly hurtful, excessively and irreparably cutting?

You might wonder why I am posting this on a Mama and Muffin food blog.  1)  The blogger in question posts about food.  2) I hope, as I raise my son, that he never acts as childishly, as cruelly as these supposedly “mature” adults have.

Muffin’s Mama Out.



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