Bullying: the hurt behind a screen


Alexa Garrett, staff writer

Today was a rough day for me. Someone called me out for being a “hoe.” But last time I checked, going on one date does not make you a slut. The rumor of “Alexa is a hoe” spread all over high school, filling people with false information that could ruin me. But that’s not even the worst of it. I later found out that there was a whole group chat named after me, solely dedicated to making fun of me. There were more or less 10 people on it. I tried to ignore my new nickname, but people constantly reminded me of it. I wish I could say that this didn’t affect me, but it did.

It’s emotionally draining to know that you are the one everyone else is talking about, especially if someone is trying to attack you for something you didn’t do. Whenever I find that someone is talking behind my back, I get worried; stressed out about who they are going to share this personal information about me with. I think to myself: who can I trust? This awful rumor gave me anxiety like never before; I let out tears of confusion, wondering what exactly I did, trying to decide how to fix myself, when in reality I did nothing wrong. It gave me false ideas about myself, and I couldn’t stand hearing the word “hoe” from then on.

So, what I’m trying to say is, we all have setbacks and dealing with these types of problems can be difficult. When it comes to bullying, there is very little you can do. It is tough to block all of the judgment that is constantly thrown at you. It’s as if someone is constantly giving you a hard time for just being yourself. Personally, I find that most of my insecurities come from social media. It’s difficult to be in an atmosphere where judgment is outstandingly present. I see negative comments floating around on my Instagram, and they make me self-conscious about things I’d never considered before about myself. Certain students will criticize others for being overweight, having acne, or simply being a bit different than what society defines as normal.

I found myself scrolling through my Instagram feed one day when something caught my eye. Someone was being negatively broadcasted across an anonymous person’s story for looking overweight. I think one of the main reasons stuff like this happens is that people just want something to talk about. We can all be judgmental at times, and I understand that it’s hard to control the urge to talk about it, especially with social media at our fingertips. For a seemingly innocent example, a friend of mine might be really bent over about someone treating them wrong and I find myself wanting to tell them, “Oh, you shouldn’t worry about what they said…you’re way better of a person,” but in a sense that means I’m talking negatively about a person, the person that treated my friend wrong, and I don’t know what that person is really like or what they’re going through that would push them to say something like that to my friend.

Bullying comes in all different forms. From cyber bullying to physical bullying, it makes us all melt inside. Honestly though, the feelings are mutual, and I haven’t heard of one person who hasn’t associated pain with bullying. Any type of bullying is wrong. It makes us feel as if we are less, not normal, and it degrades us, feeding us false information about ourselves.

Within the click of a button, you can get bullied. In my experience as a user of Instagram, the possibilities are endless. People tend to hide behind their screens because they know what they are doing is wrong. It is so much more difficult for them to talk about you in person, so they bully by texting, snapping or DMing them the information.

I just want everyone to know that, if they’re being bullied, they aren’t alone. Comfortingly, there are many others all over the word experiencing the same thing.