This blog post is inspired by me watching the ID channel yesterday while I was sick in bed with food poisoning.
The Investigative Discovery (ID) channel is a network devoted to telling different stories of real life crime.One of the shows, Web of Lies, features stories about crimes that occur over the internet.
The show that I watched was about a young girl, Megan Meier, who ended up committing suicide after being the victim of cyber bullying.Before I go into the details of what happened, I want to talk about people and their conscience or lack of conscience.
Questions to ask yourself:
Have you ever had an encounter with an adult who had a mean spirit?
2. Have you ever come across an adult who was a bully? 3. Do you know an adult that acted one way around people and then another way around you?
The reason I say “adults” is because I know that the brains of children are not fully developed until they are older.
“The human brain doesn’t stop developing at adolescence, but continues well into our 20s, demonstrates recent research from the Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry at the University of Alberta”
I don’t think it is ever ok for a child to be mean spirited or to be a bully but my expectations for adults are a lot higher.I expect adults to know better and to treat others kindly at all times.
Now back to my questions above:Have you ever (as an adult) come into contact with another adult who does something to you (or several things) that are just mean?
I personally think back to a few people that I have come across in my adult life that have been very cruel to me.I am not talking about the person who is in a bad mood; I am talking about purposely on many occasions just being cruel to me.I try to wrap my brain around how someone can be like this but I can’t.
Have you ever met a person where you thought they were really nice and outgoing but once you got to know them better you said to yourself “Something is off here.I can’t put my finger on it, but something is not right?”Maybe you saw them being nice to others but on occasion you would see them be cutthroat or not nice to another person.
The good news is that most of the people that I know are genuinely good people.They have a conscience and care about other people.They do not put themselves before everyone else.They are not cutthroat and do not do whatever it takes to get ahead.They are not manipulators and are able to take no as an answer.
The bad news is that there are some people out there who are lacking in their conscience.They may say one thing and put on a show to make others think they are decent and kind human beings but then their actions go completely against what they claim to be.When dealing with these people, you have to ask yourself “Does the things this person says match up with their actions?”
If you start to have doubts, my suggestion is that you distance yourself from this person.Make sure you follow your gut instinct.
Back to the story of Megan Meier
In 2006,13 year old Megan Meier had a Myspace account.Megan suffered from low self-esteem so she was excited when she got a friend request on Myspace from a cute boy, Josh Evans.Josh and Megan communicated through Myspace for about a month.Things were really good in the beginning with Josh being very complimentary and nice to Megan.However, the messages from Josh suddenly changed and he began saying really horrible things to her.
“They are posting bulletins about me.” A bulletin is like a survey. “Megan Meier is a slut.
Megan Meier is fat.” It was from Josh and, according to Ron’s best recollection, it said, “Everybody in O’Fallon knows how you are. You are a bad person and everybody hates you. Have a shitty rest of your life. The world would be a better place without you.”
Megan ended up hanging herself the night of the last message which stated that the world would be a better place without you.
The Meier family was devastated.They knew that the things that this “Josh Evans” had said about Megan had triggered her to commit suicide.Imagine their devastation when they found out that “Josh Evans” was really a fake account created by a neighbor.Apparently this neighbor was upset with Megan when Megan and her daughter had a falling out.The parent told the police “It was a joke.”
Back to my thoughts about mean people
I don’t get it.How in the world can you do something so cruel and then say “Oh, it was just a joke?”This is life.You don’t mess with people’s lives and then say “I didn’t mean that, it was just a joke.”On a personal note, I have had a person do something really mean to me as an adult and the answer that they too gave was “It was just a joke.”
We have to STOP allowing this type of behavior. As adults, we need to not allow other adults to “get away with this behavior.” If you see an adult acting like this, stand up for what is right and say “Hey, this is not OK.” We need to teach our children that this behavior is not acceptable either.
Remember the connection
If a person claims that they are a good person, their actions will show this at all times.I am disgusted that a grown adult harassed a 13 year old child and she ended her life as a result.Sticks and stones can break my bones and words can really kill.We have to end the cycle of mean.
Please talk to your children about the consequences of cyber bullying. It can have deadly consequences.
Side note: My sixteen year old daughter was bullied by a girl last year. This girl sent my daughter multiple mean texts (you are fat, ugly, etc) through a service that allows you to send text messages through fake numbers. It was horrible. The girl eventually got exposed after doing it to another girl too. I am disappointed that the girl never formally apologized to my daughter for doing this.