The Internet can be a Villain and a Hero

The Internet can be a Villain and a Hero

October is National Bullying Prevention Month; a month to bring awareness to the cruelty that is derived by hate and taught by influencers to physically, verbally and mentally treat others poorly. This is especially true for children and teens, but don’t be fooled, adults are often bullied too.

We need to take a stance on what we have now accepted and titled as Internet trolls, and people who decide to hide behind avatars to spew hatred. Against those who lose their inhibitions within the Internet and think it is okay to send messages that are harmful to another person’s spirit.

In a recent video, a newswoman who received an e-mail regarding her weight took a stance against her bully, a local lawyer who decided to reprimand her on her appearance. At the news station it was not taken lightly as her co-workers rallied around her with support, even her husband who is a co-worker as well took to his Facebook page to share the horrible choices of the lawyer.

People around the world responded with support and kind words, dousing the bullying and upping the kindness that is out there. Then the newswoman decided to respond to her bully on live television to not only defend herself but to be a voice for other people, girls and women in particular who are all too often scrutinized for being anything more than a size zero.

We need to celebrate body image, rejoice in our differences inside and out and not succumb to shallowness. Yes, we live in a society that has allowed the media to glorify sex and beauty beyond the truths of reality, so much so that Photoshop is actually a tool used for touch ups in magazines and photos that girls spend ours envying.

The inside of a person is unique and cannot be duplicated by anyone. In the words of actress Kirstie Alley, “Be yourself that is the one thing no one else can be” and there is such truth in that quote since we should be valued and more importantly see the value in ourselves.

You are irreplaceable despite what anyone else says to dispute this, you deserve to be cherished and hatred should be abolished, unfortunately it breathes toxicity, it is here and it hurts. The best thing we can do is take a stance like this newswoman, use our voice and we have a global stage, social media.

After this broadcast aired it was added to YouTube, Facebook and even tweeted by daytime talk show host Ellen Degeneres which amplified her words from a local station to a national broadcast. Bullies don’t belong anywhere and in fact they often regret their choices as they get older. So to deal with them now is to find the courage to share your story, not for revenge but instead to stop the hate and to help others who are being bullied in knowing that they are not alone and that you can relate.


9,325,324 views on YouTube may not change the mind of the lawyer, who wrote the letter to the newswoman (Jennifer Livingston) about her weight, but it most certainly strengthens her voice and more importantly opens the doors for others to do the same. Therefore, the Internet can be a villain but in this instance it can play the hero too.

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Jennifer will be appearing on The Ellen Show Today discussing bullying.

Bullying as a Social Problem with Children image via Shutterstock

Written by Erin Ryan

+Erin Ryan is a writer for various Social Media & Tech blogs and currently works as the Director of Social Media for the Internet Marketing Company, Wikimotive. Erin has a keen understanding of the power of Social Media for business and fervently stays up-to-date. Creator and head editor of Socialeyezer She enjoys finding the latest in social media, tech and geek culture. Erin often expresses her thoughts and opinions on TheErinRyan. Connect through Erin Ryan's Profile .

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