When Your Cyber-Bullies Are Family

As our entire world becomes immersed in social media, the increase in stories of teenagers who take their life over cyber bullying is alarming.  As a teenager it was difficult enough to deal with my three to four very close friends and the 100 or so acquaintances I would say hi to in the hallways.  With Facebook, I see kids with 900 friends checking to see who “commented” or “liked” the twenty-minute old post about their choice of breakfast cereal, and it could make or break their day.

It is so much easier to bully someone when you are looking at a screen with only your own words.  There is no face to face interaction, no back and forth dialog.  You do not see or hear the cue from the other person that tells your brain, “Hey, your being an ass, knock it off”.  School ground fights used to end with an adult stepping in telling everyone to break it up, the crowd dispersing and those involved dealing with the consequences almost immediately.  Now they have assemblies and pass out pamphlets about the damage cyber bullying can cause.  These are usually after some poor kid is tormented online, puts a gun in his mouth, and pulls the trigger.

My family not only allowed but encourage one person to make up whatever he wanted about me, my husband, and our 12-year-old son, and use the internet to spread it around.  So many things were copied, forwarded, and made up and sent or told to everyone they could find, I have no idea who thinks what and why.  The fact they flipped my life upside down with no thought, is telling on how easy it was to do from a computer.  Not sure it would have been that simple, if they had to look at my son’s face while it was happening.

After almost a year, I know longer care what they say.  Their efforts telling me I need to move on, I ignore.  That being said, it is horrible to go through.  I cannot imagine dealing with something even close to that as a teenager.  But, I can understand how they get to the breaking point.  Hopefully, society will figure out a way to keep human interaction from completely being lost in cyberspace before we forget what it is like.

I have sent my own e-mails, posted on Facebook, and created Spun, to deal with my mess as it was happening. And although I enjoy seeing them, I need more than a “like” or a “comment” to process what has happened.  I require the old, face to face, school ground fight. Except a judge, not a teacher will be the one to break it up, allowing for everyone to deal with their own actions.  Just like back in the old days.

 

Hit Delete,Butterfly’s Will Come…

Last Christmas my father told me about a wonderful invention called the delete button, and from my understanding it is on most keyboards.  Apparently if you get an e-mail that you believe will cause you distress, you can actually delete it before you open it and POOF, it never existed.  Time goes backwards, and the creator of this distressing e-mail is struck down by lightning, losing any recollection of why he even sat down at his computer.  Amazing!

I learned about this as my father’s brother was using me to try to develop his skills as a fictional writer.  I am all for creative writing, but writing fiction requires the ability to remember certain aspects of the story as you write.  If you do not have consistency, there is confusion and your creation will have no believability.  Especially if you are taking fact and twisting it into fiction.  If you cannot keep your story straight, you may want to rethink your plan.  Because when twisted fiction affects someone’s life outside your bubble of followers, it may not end like you want.

That being said, most of my family lives in a bubble. Too many of them like to hang out there, which results in brain damage from the lack of oxygen.  Common sense becomes non existent, and they lose the ability to understand that fact and fiction are not the same.  While fiction usually has some facts, the wanna be writer’s of my bubble family took fiction and passed it off as fact. This created such a frenzy, their demented crap leaked out of their bubble into the real world, my world.

When I asked my father to stop his brother from harassing me with his fictional e-mails, he put his beer down for a moment, and told me about the magical delete button. I could just touch that button, and butterfly’s would fill my room while his brother was hit by lightning.  All the e-mails that were sent to everyone saying I was a drug addict that steals from family, would go POOF, and rainbows would fill the sky.

I was astonished to find my delete button does not work like my father said, maybe because I do not live in a bubble.  I have since learned his retirement was getting boring, so he created some of his own fictional bullshit about me for my bubble family to enjoy.  They drank their Kool-Aid, and followed along like good little non-thinkers. Unfortunately for them, I do not like their Kool-Aide, it tastes funny. I do not follow anyone very well, and I could never live in a bubble full of bullshit.  However, I am just as stubborn and like him I do not back down easily when I think I am right.

People screw up, make their mistakes, and the universe has natural consequences that follow.  I have written e-mails that gave me a year long vacation from owning a gun.  A natural consequence I learned from.  I send the occasional e-mail into the world of my bubble family, letting them know I am not pleased about some of the things they have done lately.  It gets forwarded around the bubble and they talk about how horrible it is that I can type the word Fuc8, and that I need to move on and stop bringing it up.  They should know at this point, their acceptance is not really my concern, I know what kind of person I am.  Mistakes happened, natural consequences will follow, and life will go on.  As far as the irritating e-mails I send, they can hit their magic delete button, and watch the butterfly’s fill their bubble as my words fade away and go POOF!