|- (appended) wrote in rp_tutorials,|
@ 2011-12-17 16:30:00
This is not written about one person, game, line, friendship or concept in particular. If you find yourself to be questioning who this is about, my answer remains the same. Cyberbullying is something serious, and if you are a victim of any type of bullying and feel like you're alone or that there is no help, please go to this website and get help.
I’ve been writing for over 10 years now and nothing that I’ve written has been published. Most of my writing has been fan fiction which is really fun to write but it does nothing for any sort of portfolio. Through the years I’ve had chances to write with some really incredible people and create really fantastic relationships, but more days than not lately I’ve felt very disgusted with the way things are going in the world of RP. Lately, my biggest problem and source of frustration is the role of cyberbullying in the RP community.
I know that this is a very sensitive subject and it leads to many controversial debates, often leaving two good friends on opposite ends of the spectrum but it is something that needs to be talked about.
Many of us role-play as a form of entertainment and a way to keep our writing skills in check, regardless of fandom. It’s something that is supposed to be relaxing and fun, but for some people, the people you meet in games can often make you feel more isolated and alone than you were before you joined the game. I myself have felt this way recently and instead of taking a step down and being intimidated, I am standing up for myself and taking the risk to talk about it. I realize now that there may be a considerable amount of backlash for this post but at this point in my life, I’ve realized that there are things that you have to do to be more honest as a person, as a writer. As a friend.
When I started to write this morning, I asked myself what I wanted to accomplish by posting this here and the truth is that there’s a difference between intent and accomplishment. All that I ask you to do is read this post and take in what is said here. I’m not looking to change the mind of anyone but if that happens, fantastic. If you yourself have been bullied and are too shy to say something (either online or in real life), you are not alone. If you yourself are a bully, maybe it’s time for you to cut the shit. Bullying only makes you feel better and there’s got to be a reason why you’re doing it to other people. “You can catch more flies with honey than vinegar.” This is so true! Also, “Treat others the way you want to be treated.” This is also true! People, we only get to live once! If you want people to love you, you have to love yourself first, and then love others first!
“Cyber-bullying can be as simple as continuing to send e-mail to someone who has said they want no further contact with the sender, but it may also include threats, sexual remarks, pejorative labels (i.e. hate speech), ganging up on victims by making them the subject of ridicule in forums, and posting false statements as fact aimed at humiliation.
Cyber-bullies may disclose victims' personal data (e.g. real name, address, or workplace/schools) at websites or forums or may pose as the identity of a victim for the purpose of publishing material in their name that defames or ridicules them. Some cyber-bullies may also send threatening and harassing emails and instant messages to the victims, while other post rumors or gossip and instigate others to dislike and gang up on the target”.
There are so many avenues that we have to contact each other in this day and age that things travel quickly. The differences between OOC and IC can be crossed so easily that it can become hard for writers to distinguish the difference between a writer not liking a writer or conflict between two characters. For example, “Sally uses her Frank to attack other characters when she doesn’t like the player” is a very good example of a character being used as a weapon against other players, and Frank’s player thinks that it’s acceptable to act this way because it did not cross the OOC/IC line. Regardless of her intentions, what she accomplished was making another player feel as though they were being attacked. In high school, Sally may have a problem with you but she doesn’t want to tell you, so she’ll have her friend Frank tell you instead. Well, thanks a lot Sally but I’d rather just hear it from you.
Furthermore, as players we have to constantly remember that everything that we say on the internet is permanent. I have chat logs from 1997 where people are attacking other people – anyone that you complain to about another person has that log and if they want to, they can and will use it against you. I’ve not only seen it happen, but it’s happened to me and I’ve done it to other people. When you’re part of a large group of people you can offend them without intention but again, it’s what you accomplish, not what you intend.
From Cyberbullying Research Center’s Cyberbullying Identification Prevention Response Fact Sheet:
“Estimates of the number of youth who experience cyberbullying very widely (ranging from 10-40% or more), depending on the age of the group studied and how cyberbullying is formally defined. In our research, we inform students that cyberbullying is when someone “repeatedly makes fun of another person online or repeatedly picks on another person through email or text message, or when someone posts something online about another person that they don’t like”. Using this definition, about 20% of the over 4,400 randomly-selected 11-18 year old students in 2010 indicated they had been a victim at some point in their life. About this same number admitted to cyberbullying others in their lifetime. Finally, about 10% of kids in this recent study said they had been both a victim and an offender.”
I would be a liar if I said that I’ve never posted in a venting community. I would also be a liar if I said that I’ve never said a bad thing about another person in my entire life. The truth is, none of us are perfect – we all have things that we like and don’t like and those things can be found in other people quite often. The difference between disliking someone and picking on them because you don’t like someone is vastly different and is often overlooked because of the anonymity that the internet gives us. For example, Judy smells bad because she doesn’t shower enough is greatly different than Judy smells like shit so I’m going to give her a gift basket of body wash from myself and my three friends to get the point across. You could just as easily tell Judy that she needs to take a shower. Sure, it’s not easy, but it’s a hell of a lot nicer than giving her a gift basket with your three best friends.
Speaking of friends, there is another very important part of this subject that a lot of us have undoubtedly faced at one point in our lives: I know you’re friends with so-and-so, but she’s such a (insert something here). When I Googled “Defending a friend that is being bullied,” there were over 2,000,000 results. Two million results. There are two million instances on Google alone about people who have experienced this situation, or need help defending their friends. This often can be just as hard as being bullied because you don’t want to be bullied in return. I get it, I do. I’ve been there. At what point do we fight or flight? At what point is enough going to be enough to where we stick up for our friends? Do we get bullied or do we pray to god that it just stops and the bully goes away? Unfortunately, the bully does not go away. Unless a bully is stood up to and is told that they need to stop, they’re going to find another victim. Yes, you are safe for another round but they may come back. Bullies are relentless.
From Bullystatistics.org ‘s Facts on Bullying
Facts on bullying:
-Imbalance of power.Typically those who engage in bully-like behaviors use their strength, popularity or power to harm, control or manipulate others. They will usually target those who are weaker in size or may have a difficult time defending themselves.
-Intent to cause harm. A bully is a person who does not do things by accident. The bully intends to physically or emotionally injure a person or group of persons.
-Repetition. Typically incidents of bullying are not a one-time thing. Bullies target the same person or group over and over again.
The facts on bullying also provide information on what types of signs to look for in children who might be bullying others:
-Becomes frequently violent
-Has trouble controlling anger
-Is manipulative and controlling of others and situations
-Is quick to blame others
-Does not accept responsibility for their actions
-Needs to win or be the best at everything
Through research, it is shown that bullies often have more than one victim and do it for reasons that are more psychological than they are physical. When you say that you hate someone, why do you say it? Say it’s someone you don’t know: You see a pretty girl/guy walk by on the street. Her/his boyfriend/girlfriend is totally hot. ”What a bitch.” Why is she/he a bitch? Because she/he is walking down the street with her boyfriend/girlfriend? No, because she’s/he's pretty and her/his boyfriend/girlfriend is hot and you wish you had a hot boyfriend/girlfriend. Most people pick on others when they are feeling low about themselves and find a rise in hurting others. Think of all of the times when you said something mean to someone else: Why did you do it? Did you want them to feel bad about themselves? Did you feel smarter or more intelligent when you said that to them? How would you feel if someone did the same thing to you?
“With cyber bullying, you can't escape from it. Fifty-four percent of the kids who were bullied said they didn't know who was bullying them on the Internet.”
As I said earlier, the only thing I wanted from this piece was to bring awareness to our community about the reality of cyberbullying and the effects that it can have on each other. If one person takes away something meaningful from this, I have done my job as a writer, sister, daughter and friend. Bullying will never go away but we can choose to rise above it and not let it happen to ourselves and each other.
Thank you. Sorry if this got a little preachy.