Not long ago, I was flipping through the New York Times when I happened to come upon a story titled Dealing With Digital Cruelty by It had been a year since I had written a post about a particularly sad incident of internet cruelty. Back then, 12-year-old Rebecca Sedwick had leaped to her death after being cyberbullied by a coterie of 15 middle-school children who urged her to kill herself. Upon reading the Times story, I decided to revisit this issue.
The Times article begins, “Anyone who has ever been online has witnessed, or been virtually walloped by, a mean comment.”
Because communication on the internet can provide anonymity and invisibility it can lead many to feel uninhibited. If someone is sitting right in front of you, there is a chance that a mean comment could lead to the insulter ending up with a fat lip or witnessing streams of tears running down a sweet face. Not so when all you see is some letters.