Online Sticks & Stones by Paul Leonard

The Internet is littered with forums, social media platforms, chat rooms etc. where they should be a place you can feel safe and unthreatened and just be able to be yourself. Say what you think, have your own opinions on whatever and not feel ashamed to say or express them. Well, that is the theory… but we all know that theories are all great but when “the rubber hits the road” it can be, and often is, a very different story.

There are people out there, grown adults no less (!), who think it is acceptable behaviour to verbally bully and manipulate others because:

•Differing beliefs or points of view

•Not understanding a point made

•Because they feel their victim is siding with someone’s view and not their own

Let us be straight about this for a second, it is not ok, it is not right, not now, not ever! It just makes me wonder, how were these people dragged brought up in the first place? If either of my kids turns out to be a bully, whether physical or in this way, I will feel, I have failed in my position as a father and role model. There is a proverb in the Bible:

I am trying to talk about this, to bring all this rubbish to the surface and try and be rid of this baggage myself. And also, so other people out there who are suffering, or indeed have suffered in this way, know that it is ok to speak out against these bullies.

If you are indeed suffering and not sure where to turn, consider getting help. Maybe by speaking with a friend, (“A problem shared is a problem halved”. Remember?!), The Samaritans maybe or a quick Google search reveals there is organisations out there that deal with this sort of thing. It may even be worth a trip to your local GP to discuss counselling if you feel that is what is needed.

What is important though, is to speak out – do not let these animals, these scumbags win! I know it can be hard to speak out about bullying, I know that from my school days, but it is important to speak to at least, one person.

~ PAL, who can also be found rambling away on *here.

This (very much appreciated) post was inspired by and written in relation to SJ’s post called “Stop Online Abuse“.

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