I know we have all seen situations when social media can lead to real life trauma including loss of life. We see this on the news or someone’s Facebook page that tells the story of online bullying and shaming. I actually experienced the cruelty of others personally this week. We have been trying to start recording tik tok videos to reach a broader audience for Tor’s Tales. It has been a steep learning curve and admittedly the first ones were not great. (In all honesty, I had to talk Maddie into making the first video because she wasn’t feeling good & frankly we didn’t know what we were doing.) But we recorded a couple & I let them loose on the public complete with the ability to comment.
Saturday as a couple of the videos were picking up steam, I actually started reading comments. That is where I made my mistake. Some of these people who hide behind false account names & cartoon picture identifiers can be so hurtful. I am a grown woman who is very secure in my skin, or so I thought. But I caught myself getting very anxious and insecure and they weren’t even talking about me, they were talking about Maddie. At first I thought it was just my Mama Bear instincts kicking in but as I read these comments from complete strangers I could feel the energy just drain from me. Maddie was like, “Mom, gen z’ers are brutal. Don’t you know that?” And I think that was the hardest part for me. While I was absolutely shocked at some of the stuff being said, my 15 year old was not surprised in the least.
Here’s what I know: these young folks may say it doesn’t bother them or that it is expected to happen. But this culture of brutally attacking strangers online is doing more damage to this generation than we could ever imagine. People, we have to do better!!!!