The online community is a breeding ground for bullying. When you can’t see someone’s face or real name, for some reason, people think it’s okay to be total jerks and get away with it. It’s unfortunate that kids in highschool are having to deal with this. When I was in high school, online social networking wasn’t even close to being a big part of our lives – even at all.
When we first started this site, I was quickly introduced to this whole new world of online bullies. We received a lot of hate mail at first from people that wanted to see us fail. We even received threatening anti-gay hate comments! To add to that, it was eye-opening to see the degree of gays hating gays that goes on within our community, as well as the lack of support for people within our own community. It definitely helped me to grow a thick skin and work that much harder at succeeding.
We had this regular commenter that would go under several aliases, one of them being “Trish” – agreeing with herself or himself under different names trying to bash this, that, and the other. It was so bizarre. Who has this kind of time and what does it even accomplish? Over this past weekend, I witnessed this type of thing all over again. Someone going on a rampage, leaving harsh comments on articles, and then agreeing with themselves under different names. They’re a bit silly to think that with technology these days we aren’t able to notice this.
I’ve even seen this type of bullying taking place in other realms. Competitors leaving negative false reviews on the pages of their competing businesses. Again, who has the time to do this and what kind of self-respecting entrepreneur would stoop that low? My advice would be if your attention is going towards doing things like that, there must be something wrong with your business and you priority should be fixing that.
A while back, one person went so far as to write a blog post about someone close to me and included a picture of them. In the blog, the person prided themselves on being honest and upfront about their feelings towards the person… except for the fact that they never said any of this to their face. What ever happened to saying something face to face and working it out? I actually even had to be the one to show him the blog post, as he hadn’t seen it yet. The lengthy blog post was called “Frenemies“. Mature. I’ve known the writer of this post for quite some time and he’s always been nothing but kind to me, yet I never saw this side of him until this happened and it unfortunately did change my opinion of him. Why he thought a post about hating someone would have no repercussions in terms of the perceptions of others or that he thought it would benefit him in any way (socially, career-wise, reputation-wise) is beyond me. I know he wanted to vent about a few things, but the internet is permanent, buddy.
Speaking personally, I realize I put myself out there with a site like this, so I somewhat expect it. As do the other writers/cast members. As do other online personalities, actors, musicians, etc. Speaking from being on the receiving end of this type of behavior, it has made me wish that people took a second to realize the aftermath of their actions. The internet is permanent. Also, hiding behind an alias to leave negative comments is very cowardly and certainly isn’t something to be proud of. How contradictory is it that we have all of these anti-bullying campaigns like “It Gets Better” for young gays growing up in environments where they are constantly harassed, yet many gay adults are no better than the ones the high school kids are trying to escape.
In conclusion, I guess I’m writing this as a sort of “check yourself” kind of article. I highly doubt the people that do this kind of thing, hiding behind their monitors, are boasting about it to others. If no one knows they’re doing it, then there’s no one to hold them accountable and knock some sense into them. I don’t expect people to agree with everything we write or only write “nice” things, but anti-gay hate mail, agreeing with yourself under different aliases, writing hate posts about former friends & including pictures of them, and writing false reviews is taking it too far.
For anyone that actually knows me, they know that I extend the same respect to others about what I am preaching about above. I’m not perfect, but I certainly would never go out of my way to sabotage someone or bring them down. Come on guys, let’s grow up a little bit and set an example for the next generation of gays. Peace.