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    The long, long ramble about drama and cyber bullying

    This was actually something I wrote for another board but haven't posted yet. It's pretty lengthy, and actually pretty cheesy, but it's more about looking back on some of my internet behaviors and attitudes and how they changed for the better. I think there's some hesitation about where I post this because I do find some people do want to pick fights or make fights but I feel like this community is one of the kinds that is very welcoming towards this kind of dialog. As mentioned, though, it's pretty lengthy.

    --------------------------

    It has been about eight years since I had made my presence on the internet, before I was simply looking at comics and images or playing games. A lot can happen in eight years. At the same time some things may change very slowly. I would guess it's been a little less than two years that I have gone through a change where I've grown, and started to examine myself, my attitude, and the way I behave. Sometimes I feel like I grow a little every day, and now I'm meeting and dealing with people who are like what I used to be.

    Drama is a tricky subject to discuss without making some sweeping generalizations. But it is one that has been on my mind a lot, because I used to incite drama. I used to surround myself in drama. I outright blatantly bullied people because drama was exciting and it felt fun to hurt them. And when I confessed this in discussions about drama, there were people who admitted to stuff similar to this, that is, a phase of angst where we wallowed in the drama and enjoyed it. Some people have forgiven me for the drama. Others still won't forgive me to this day. But most of all I think I changed, I regret what I did, but I know that everyone has the chance to grow a little and change.

    No one here is required to change. Changing can be a conscious effort but sometimes it just happens. I did not write this as a guide but as a self-reflection. Perhaps it can be an example of “learn from my mistake,” and if anyone does take away something positive from this I would be happy. All of the examples I'm using happened outside of coinquestofthehorde. Some of them even happened in real life, and some of them are things that are years behind me.

    So with that out of the way I want to discuss my personal perspective on drama and bullying. Some of these may seem like instructions, and they sort of are, but that is because I am trying to practice them myself. This is not meant to target anyone specific or to single out someone's behavior. This is entirely me and my experience, so if there are any “bad guys” here, it's me. Speaking of which...

    Creating a bad guy

    My earliest experience with drama involved a tracer and an art thief. The tracer would heavily deny the plagiarism even though we found art and made overlays about it. She was very defensive, and it felt a little fun to pick on her and point out each piece was stolen and she had no artistic originality. I told my friends and they told their friends. We wrote an ED page for her. We posted her on boards like 7chan to start “raids” where she'd have an overwhelming amount of attacks from anonymous posters. People signed up her e-mail for porn. I attacked her forums. I also impersonated her for funnies.

    I actually talked about wanting to hack her and my ex at the time pointed out how personal and scary this was getting. That was probably one of the most sensible things he shocked me out of. I sometimes wonder how I could have even done this much to someone. What happened was that because we saw her as wrong, and because she was an art thief, we made her out to be a bad guy. As soon as you can “other” a person and find yourself morally superior to your target, it can become easy to justify mistreating and harassing them endlessly, because after all, it's bad to steal art and to claim it as your own, and even worse to deny the evidence.

    And it's funny to see someone trip up and then explode in a journal and try to yell and scream about how unfair it is that people think their work was blatantly traced. We turned her into a bad guy to excuse our own misbehavior. And it was wrong. And the thing is you can't take back those actions, you can only hope that you're forgiven and you can forgive yourself. Sometimes I have a hard time forgiving myself because I was a terrible teen, but it has been 7-8 years and I do think after a certain amount of time we stop having as much trouble with what we used to do (especially when we probably start hitting our 30s or 40s, time definitely makes a good buffer for our past demons).

    Is there any way to stop “othering” a person? There might be but there isn't a one-size-fits-all solution. And it's hard if the person is belligerent. But I think it may be possible adjust your attitude and way you look at things. Above all else there is nothing that justifies attacking someone else. Even if they attacked you or your friends, it is not alright to attack them. No one is perfect and you may find yourself slipping up; I do not expect other people to be paragons of virtue. But it is possible to tone yourself down and step back, or approach from a different angle that won't result in you attacking someone else.

    Think, think, think...

    Take some time to think about the situation. Sit on it for awhile. Don't let it become a grudge but try and think about the other person. Try to figure out exactly what bothers you. Try to think about who they are and what they do, and maybe why they act that way. Think about the situation. Above anything else think before you act.

    I recently found someone posting things on the internet about me that he assumed no one could find on a google. They were pretty harsh and mean, and I wasn't the only person he had been saying these things about. But he was also telling his secrets, and things he didn't want people to find. One of my friends I talked to this about said I could expose him and teach him a lesson. But I decided to read more. And some of the things he talked about were his insecurities and how he didn't like some of these things about himself or this topic, and I reminded him of that. He was angsting and at the age where angst is high. So instead of taking all his secrets and running to the nearest anon or chan board I could find...

    I decided to drop secret hints that I could see what he was saying. Until he came to me. And he asked me how I knew, and I explained. He was sorry, and embarrassed. I said it was okay. I felt the temptation to expose him to a few people before but I managed to keep this private and we met for the first time on a neutral term. He was worried and I understood since he didn't know I found some of his secrets.

    He was just like I used to be. And it took a lot of thinking to arrive to the conclusion that he was bitter and made fun of people in the same way I did when I was his age. But instead of using this as a way to exploit or put him at the center of embarrassment, I found it better to give him a private warning. I found he's no longer posting things about me and other people. He could still be saying pretty mean things about me but I guess I don't mind because after taking all that time to think about him, I figured out that we weren't too different and maybe he'll grow out of it. I guess it's hard to stay mad knowing I used to be like that.

    I'm not saying forgive someone's actions, but to try and exhaust all possible thought before taking action. I'm certain there would have been a laugh if I exposed him. But like me he rationalized his meanness by othering me. I can't lie and say I didn't get mad at him, but I couldn't condemn someone for a very human behavior, one that I exhibited myself. I'm pretty sure had this been a few years ago, this situation would have ended very differently. I am grateful it didn't have to come to that.

    - - - Updated - - -

    ... and now I'm getting bugs when I try to submit the rest of this! How embarrassing. Guess I might have to get a full reply before trying to get the other part in

    THE REST

    Adjusting your surroundings

    There are environments and people that encourage drama, and some places are best to stay out. If you find yourself in a community that has become very vitriolic and hostile, sometimes it's best to pull out. There are some places where the trouble finds you and ends up in your spaces. There are places that are full of people who have issues and are itching to make a fight with you. I recently left deviantart, for example, because people were trying to pick a fight over a harmless rant (it was about my college changing it's UI). There was the typical “first world problems” and “oh boo hoo.” I just knew it was better to remove myself from such an atmosphere where people want to make you angry.

    Other examples are communities that deal with social justice and politics. I have seldom seen communities like these not have cases where people gang up and dogpile on someone, sometimes even over something that was a simple mistake. Tumblr and livejournal have become rather infamous for its cyberbullying based around social justice causes. Once again it is a case of people rationalizing a “bad guy” because they aren't aligned with their ideals, and taking to actions like ganging up, stalking, and sending death threats.

    I can say that some of these communities are so vitriolic, that even while agreeing with another person, they may be so disgruntled or angry they're just about ready to explode on you or the others around them. This especially happens in communities that have “sides” whether they are based in a topic or a clique. Choosing sides can be one of those ways that you lead to “othering” someone because people are so invested in a certain idea and do not like others disagreeing. This is possibly one of the best reasons why conquestofthehorde does not allow religion and politics, because as topics they are not only polarized, but heavily identity-based to the point where you can be adversarial just depending on someone's outlook on a certain issue.

    Anonymous boards may be alright to lurk, but these people are not the best to converse with and they do not contribute to a positive attitude or way of thought. I had actually advised this one lady to withdraw her presence from an anon board, especially since they were starting to go after her daughter and were attempting to implicate her in a crime and ruin her business. I'm honestly hoping she takes the advice but I saw her taunting them last I checked, and still immersing herself in drama. This has actually gotten her banned from a website where she drew in the most customers, and has affected her in many negative ways because she deliberately chooses to be among these people and follow and incite the drama wherever it occurs.

    There are many communities I have had to leave or lurk because the atmosphere is vicious, and some of the people want a fight. I have found safer places like the community I'm at, that try to stamp that out when it happens. Sites with heavier and fair moderation tend to encourage more positive interaction.

    Adjusting your behavior

    While examining yourself, you may want to consider how you behave and talk to other people. Sometimes we can get aggressive or passive-aggressive. Tone is very important in a written medium, and sometimes sarcasm is best avoided.

    I used to try and “innocently” pick fights by using intentionally loaded language to fish for a reaction. Some people came to me and said I seemed “blunt” and “brutally honest.” They were saying this as a positive trait, because it was seen as funny to watch someone get that reaction out of another person. But I don't think I was being as innocent as I made myself out to be. I was being blunt on purpose, because I knew it would make them mad.

    The idea of loaded language is that you are deliberately choosing words or a tone to an extent that you expect it to have a certain, often negative, reaction. And some people love this. I used to love doing this. I don't now. And I don't think it's very sincere to say that you're being brutally honest. I feel like it's another way of saying that you are about to say whatever you want, however you want, and you better just deal with it. And I don't mean to single out people who identify to being blunt or brutally honest. I'm just saying this used to be me.

    Not only can you adjust your public behavior but you can try to adjust your private behavior as well. Maybe instead of trying to rant you can talk about a problem you have with a party you find to be more neutral or not personally involved with the situation. I think above all else you don't want to seek out people who validate your feelings, instead just say you want to discuss it. I had to tell someone before my side of an issue, and then theirs, and saying that it's unfair for me to think so negatively about this person just because I have bad feelings about them. I had to ask people not to validate my views, but to hear my thoughts on both sides of the matter so I could further think about it (as mentioned above). Sometimes even just saying your problems can be cathartic enough.

    I do think it's okay to rant about someone or talk behind their backs but I also think it's possible to change how you rant, how you talk, and how you think about an issue. Sometimes it helps to think of it in a more fair way, especially if you think the issue might never change, and you just want it off your mind. This is not to say that there is nothing that's a big deal, or that your side is the wrong side, but that situations are usually complex and sometimes it can be hard if you just set yourself on a certain side of a matter.

    Sometimes the matter might even be out of your hands that it's best to acknowledge that and relinquish those feelings. The issues you may have might actually start out small but get worse if you pile them on, especially as you rant.


    This one is a very personal example, but I think some of you might have heard it before. I would rant about my dad. And I had a lot of problems with my dad. But I found out that sometimes Dad was right. And sometimes I was just set in my ways and he was set in his. Getting some time away from Dad let me see him in a better light. Staying with my dad and trying to cope through it by venting to my friends caused them to validate perhaps some of my worst behaviors, and make my Dad out to be a huge villain when he's done so much more than what I could ever ask of him cause he's Dad and all. Dad's done a lot of things wrong but so have I, and it's taken a bit of growing to realize that I love Dad, and I can't live with him, and I can't live without him.

    It was very easy to pile the problems on until everything Dad did just seemed wrong. Which reminded me of this picture Rigley(my boyfriend) shown me that had the caption (somewhat paraphrasing) that after you dislike someone enough, everything they do becomes offensive. Just look at how that (*&%(*& eats her crackers. It's a very easy rut to fall into, and one that is hard to get out of without trying to change your mind about a person.

    In conclusion

    I hope we can find ways to think more positively or fairly about others and ourselves. We are very complex beings, and drama is a complex topic that never has a band-aid solution. But I think the most important thing is that we change, sometimes very slowly. Personally the people who bullied me in high school never bullied me when I saw them in college. And they never bullied me when I saw them at work. They grew up. I grew up a little more slowly, but I do think a lot changes as you leave your teens.

    I personally don't know how accountable we should hold ourselves for our whacky hi-jinx and the bullying we might have done in real life or online. I do wonder if there's just a time in our lives, especially with hormones raging, that it's easier to become mean and aggressive and defensive all at the same time.

    I'm trying to be less aggressive and talk things out more and spend more time thinking about issues. I've removed myself from people and places who are just bent on picking a fight. Sometimes I wonder if the internet has become a more hostile place, or if it's just full of the people I used to be like. I think it's more that, and I do feel like it gets better when you're old enough to realize all this, and take measures to put yourself in a calmer, more friendlier environment. I hope I can make something better of myself as the years go by, because I am just hitting that point where I've realized what I've been through and now know what I want to become. I want to become someone who is mature, thoughtful, friendly and not the center of a *&*%-storm, and I hope others can appreciate that goal.

    PS: This may sound like ways to become a doormat. There are certainly times to stand your ground and defend yourself but I wanted to focus on the things that can go wrong and how to change that. There are also certainly times where I don't want to be wrong and try to fight such a notion. It's human, it's normal, just relax and try not to worry too much about “winning” at everything you do.
    Last edited by Wuvvums; 08-04-2012 at 03:46 PM.

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    Cold as Fire Eminoxic's Avatar


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    Okay... we raised the max limit for posting just for you. Carry on master of words. Edit your post to add the rest

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    Resident Khajiit Ibuuyk's Avatar


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    This is a full reply.

  4. #4
    Oh wow, thanks <3 I'll try and get it in. This thing ended up being like 5 pages and I felt really good writing it.

  5. #5
    I skimmed through your huge wall there, some of it I agree with.'

    My thoughts on cyber bullying are, however a tad controversial.

    Man up. Deal with it. If you get picked on, online it has everything to do with you. The world is no better than the internet. People are dicks, people will be mean to one another. Luckily, online you can just walk away from it. There are plenty of measures on websites that let you block people and even if they don't. There's always just ignoring them.

    The world today is 'kiddy gloving' children and it sets them up for a life where they believe that everyone is going to be friends, or that they'll be protected.

  6. #6
    I'm talking more about how to not propagate it. It can be disconcerting that people are just ending up too soft and yet at the same time I think a lot can be accomplished if you learn how to manage drama and conflict and improve your cooperation skills. I chose to propagate drama in ways that were outright bullying and not alright.

    One of the problems isn't so much the teasing as sometimes it escalates and I've seen it crossing some lines. What I did crossed a line because I chose to chase someone past dA and into her own personal space (her forum) as a constant reminder that she was a bad person in my mind. And I thought about other malicious sabotage. It's just something I think can go downhill pretty quickly so I definitely think while it can be good to grow a thick skin, it may also be good to move yourself away from it, and learn to check your own attitudes and behaviors. I definitely think it does get better with time, though.

  7. #7
    Resident Khajiit Ibuuyk's Avatar


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    Cyber bullying and bullying in general is a joke. People keep whining and giving money to charities in order to "eradicate it" when all they do is encourage and advertise it. Where I live, nobody talks about it, the media don't talk about it, thus the kids aren't aware of what bullying is and ultimately, bullying doesn't exist at all.

    But Americans? Advertise it, let the media talk about it. Make documentaries about it. Kids will see bullies are popular and learn about how they steal lunch money and stuff, and think it's a good way to get known and rich. What parents do? Nothing, parents don't have the right to raise their kids correctly anymore, again thanks to advertisement and the medias saying "Parents shouldn't touch their kids, or their kids will get taken away". Kids, of course, know this and thus know they have every rights in the world.

    On the contrary, a single slap is all you need to raise your brat to be perfect. Your kid starts being a whiny brat? Raise your voice, tell him to stop. He keeps whining and acting spoiled? Slap. From then on, when he's whining and you raise your voice, he'll most likely stop. If he doesn't just raise your hand and he'll know you're serious.

    Now to come back to bullying. Imo, it IS a good thing. It truly shows a kid what the world is really about. A kid who gets bullied will know that the world is a harsh place, that he'd better toughen up and either keep being a sheep and stop whining or team up and turn against the bully.

    TL;DR Bullying exists only because the medias talk about it. Spoiled brats exists only because the medias raised their parents, thus the medias raising their kids is a perfectly normal thing to do.

    Srs Americans, why the Hell do you let the medias tell you what you must do, turn off your TV and learn to live yourself, geesh.

  8. #8
    I think there's another problem actually that manifested in this thread. I am not sure what caused it but we have a generation of youth who are ill behaved. I often assume it's because our economy has placed us in a situation where single-income households can't work, and children are often raised second-hand by being dumped in front of a television or on relatives. Parenting has become a very uninvolved process. And we've become so disenfranchised with poorly behaved children we've started to become fans of the exact opposite which is militant parenting and a tough-love culture.

    I don't think I can condone bullying to certain degrees, especially since children are still cognitively and emotionally developing. And sometimes there isn't a break from the bullying, so it's an endless stream or negativity, or there aren't "safe" spaces from the bullying where you don't have to be afraid about it. As a perspective, I was bullied so much that some teens thought it would be fun to chase me down as a pedestrian with their car. That's right, they drove their car directly at me and slammed on the breaks. Did this teach me any lessons or helped me feel like I'm a less entitled person? I do think there's a middle ground between coddling children and trying to figuratively rub their faces into the dirt.

    It should also be considered that sometimes the bullies are more ill-behaved than their victims that are apparently learning life lessons from the bullying. Who teaches the bullies that it's not okay to demoralize someone, trying to destroy their property, subject them to public humiliation, get physically violent, steal their things and all around be terrible? I know it's frustrating to deal with the generation of bratlings, but I feel like more often than not it's those bratlings who end up being the bully and taking it out on the more passive folks. That's my take on it, at least.

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    Cold as Fire Eminoxic's Avatar


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    Quote Originally Posted by Ibuuyk View Post
    Cyber bullying and bullying in general is a joke. People keep whining and giving money to charities in order to "eradicate it" when all they do is encourage and advertise it. Where I live, nobody talks about it, the media don't talk about it, thus the kids aren't aware of what bullying is and ultimately, bullying doesn't exist at all.

    But Americans? Advertise it, let the media talk about it. Make documentaries about it. Kids will see bullies are popular and learn about how they steal lunch money and stuff, and think it's a good way to get known and rich. What parents do? Nothing, parents don't have the right to raise their kids correctly anymore, again thanks to advertisement and the medias saying "Parents shouldn't touch their kids, or their kids will get taken away". Kids, of course, know this and thus know they have every rights in the world.

    On the contrary, a single slap is all you need to raise your brat to be perfect. Your kid starts being a whiny brat? Raise your voice, tell him to stop. He keeps whining and acting spoiled? Slap. From then on, when he's whining and you raise your voice, he'll most likely stop. If he doesn't just raise your hand and he'll know you're serious.

    Now to come back to bullying. Imo, it IS a good thing. It truly shows a kid what the world is really about. A kid who gets bullied will know that the world is a harsh place, that he'd better toughen up and either keep being a sheep and stop whining or team up and turn against the bully.

    TL;DR Bullying exists only because the medias talk about it. Spoiled brats exists only because the medias raised their parents, thus the medias raising their kids is a perfectly normal thing to do.

    Srs Americans, why the Hell do you let the medias tell you what you must do, turn off your TV and learn to live yourself, geesh.
    Please don't turn this into a hate thread. No need to call out countries/races. Discussion is fine, but "Yeah, Americans suck!" is not something we can just leave on the forums. It causes a big flame thread.

  10. #10
    Ah, yes, also as a note sorry if I'm being a little argumentative. This was just another topic I didn't really mean to cover since it's more about self growth. But I'm trying to say that I don't really buy into the idea that we need to toughen kids up. We don't need to leave them feeling entitled and bend over backwards to validate all their world views. At the same time I don't really think a kid needs to be "beat on" by life to have a humbled world view or be well behaved. I am tired of children and teens who are jerks but I don't think they'd be fixed by having someone bully them. No one had to bully me to make me a better person. In fact, all that bullying really did was make me a more submissive and anxious person.

 

 

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