Social Media

Proactive Against Cyberbullying

A small group was buzzing in the internet, throwing offensives and negative insinuations that were easily verifiable because they had direct contact with the source but chose to get cyber fame instead. It went on for a few days. It wasn’t nice. The words were from the gutter. The attitude over the web was unpleasant especially when keyboard warriors, who assumed the worst based on what they read, rode on the fascination of facebook fame. 

credits: image source

It wasn’t the best of time.

But we held on, not putting anything out on the net. We let the authority in the matter handle it. We checked possible legal implications and contemplated on legal actions. There were legal grounds to do so for even deleted comments and posts were immortalized by screenshots and can be used against them in the court of law. Then the official statement came out clearing our names of those malicious insinuations. That was a big relief to our temporarily disturbed quiet existence.

And then we had each other. We had our families and our friends.

“Somebody who is bullied and has a lot of coping skills, support in their family and in other friends, is probably more resilient than somebody who doesn’t perceive others as being supportive or has low self-esteem, identity issues, or depressed mood.” – Dr. Elizabeth Waterman

We kept our calm and chose a stance of dignified silence. We only shared the official statement on our respective Facebook timelines and let the dust settle on its own. That was the end of it, as we know it.

Instead of going further and taking the legal route for the distress caused, I decided to heed on another advice. Let it go and let nature take its normal course. Because no matter how big you are,

“You will never reach higher ground if you are always pushing others down.” – Jeffrey Benjamin

And the former President Barack Obama said this on an MTV Forum back in 2010,

“The Law is a powerful thing, but the law doesn’t always change what’s in people’s hearts.”

Of course, I couldn’t let it go just by sitting down. Cyberbullying has become very personal to me because of that experience. In this day and age, it is not only children who need to be reminded about responsible digital citizenship. Adults, especially ADULTS, need to be reminded to be RESPONSIBLE DIGITAL CITIZENS. We have this saying in Filipino, “kung ano ang ginagawa ng matanda ay tama sa mata ng bata” loosely translated to “whatever adults do is right in the eyes of children“.

I am grateful to have found Sunfull Movement and met Dr. Min Byoung-chul whose advocacy to counter cyberbullying is very relevant in this day and age. 

Sunfull’s name comes from posting positive messages.

In Korea, the movement is known as 선플, pronounced “sun-pull”, which is a combination of the Korean word  (pronounced “sun”), from the Chinese character  for “good”, and the Korean word (pronounced “pull”), which means “reply”.

The Korean pronunciation of “pule” is very similar to the English word “full,” which is why we call our movement in English, Sunfull. In Korean, our name means “positive comment,” and in English, “full of light.” (source)

I chose to be proactive in the campaign against cyberbullying rather than face head-on the unpleasant attitude of keyboard warriors.

And I am happy that I did because it brought about a partnership between the Philippine Women’s Club and Sunfull Movement which we launched last December 9, 2017. Aptly introduced during our Paskong Pinoy sa Korea where we tried to make true the popular CNN ad that says, “When you’re with Filipinos, you’re with family”. As a family, we take care of each other so we should see to it that we take care of each other’s well-being. 

You really cannot feel the gravity of cyberbullying unless you have experienced it yourself. One thing that made me see through that experience was, their words and actions were not a reflection of who I am but a reflection of who they are. And that painted a murky picture of who they are.

I may have had written unpleasant comments in the past but moving forward I would like to make a more conscious effort to make our online presence positive and free of garbage.

Let me end this post with:

credits: image source

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