Thursday, June 7, 2012
11:55 PM | Posted by Michelle | Edit Post
We all remember that line. It's the one that Thumper's mom asks him what his father says, after he makes fun of Bambi - If you can't say something nice, don't say nothin' at all. I'm sure we all heard this growing up in some form or another. Most of us abide by this today. Sometimes we let things slip. I'll admit I do, especially when people are rude or line jump. But the one place I have noticed that people are not following this rule is on the internet.
This week I read some of the most disgusting comments ever. Not on my blog, but on Bristol Palin's blog. For those who have been living under a rock, Bristol Palin is the daughter of Sarah Palin who during the presidential announced her unplanned teenage pregnancy. Part of the reason was because people were claiming that Sarah Palin's youngest son was actually Bristol's (turns out people still believe this). Bristol is now a single mom, going to school, working full time and supporting her son. She is a remarkable young woman of Christ.
I was first introduced to her blog by my husband who had read a news article regarding one of her posts. It was about the call Obama made to Sandra Fluke, the young woman Rush Limbaugh called a S***! Bristol wanted to know when she would receive a call. She has been slandered maliciously and unprovoked by comedians and the media for years. I felt this post well written and well warranted. I, however, did not read the comments at that time.
Last night, I was playing and decided to "pop in" at her blog. I saw a post regarding President Obama's decision on gay marriage. There were 3,063 comments on this post alone. Most of them were not nice. They were horrible and offensive. As I read some of them I thought about the amount of hatred people had for someone they didn't even know; that they only heard about through the media. Most threw stones at her being a single teenage mom who promotes abstinence (of course a teenage mom would, they know the actual consequences for premarital sex). Some called her ignorant and stupid, with all the atrocious grammar that only someone who is ignorant could use. Most of the negative comments came from people who are on the "left." Those same people who within hours of her mother being named vice president candidate, questioned her decision not to abort her youngest son, Trig, who has down syndrome (I was so disgusted, you can imagine who I would have voted for right there and then). I have gone back to her original blog I read and discovered just as many disgusting comments.
Bristol, however, did the right thing and wrote a blog about the bullying. That is exactly what it was and is when we use words to take down people.
Let no foul or polluting language, nor evil word nor unwholesome or worthless talk [ever] come out of your mouth, but only such [speech] as is good and beneficial to the spiritual progress of others, as is fitting to the need and the occasion, that it may be a blessing and give grace (God’s favor) to those who hear it. (Ephesians 4:29 Amp)
What is worse is when we hide behind our computers to do it. The victim cannot retaliate. The victim cannot confront the bullier. When I read people who bully through comments and Facebook, I always want to question them. I want to know why they would use words and actions that they wouldn't use in public (at least I hope they wouldn't). I was taught the same words that Thumper was and I believe they apply to social networking world as well. We need to stop cyber bullying, no matter who the victim is. It is wrong. When we see it, we need to stand up for the victim. We need to support them. We live in a society that calls for freedom of speech, however, only when it supports their side. This needs to stop! Everyone has the right to speak, as long as it is not harming another person. Doesn't matter if we agree with them or not. Nobody has the right to make someone feel less than they are. We are called to lift others up with our words, not tear them down.
If you don't have something nice to say, don't say nothin' at all. Wise words. Something we need to start reminding people of.
Have you been a victim of cyber bullying? What are your thoughts of commenting on social media?
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