A big voice against cyber bullies and trolls

Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock, you’ve probably heard about baseball legend Curt Schilling’s response to the disgusting things that two trolls tweeted about his daughter.  It’s been the subject of several interviews and news stories over the past several days, as he fought back to expose his daughter’s Twitter trolls.  Here is a short clip from YouTube on one of them.

I’ve also seen viewpoints that question whether or not it was the right thing to do to publicly humiliate and expose these trolls, ultimately causing them to lose their jobs. Public shaming on social media is becoming a topic of some discussion these days as to whether or not it is “fair” to humiliate someone publicly or cause them to lose their job over a “mistake.”

Seriously? I don’t often write about my personal opinions here, but I am a mom.  This strikes a chord.  I feel his pain, because I know how I would feel if it were one of my daughters these trolls were going after.  I applaud him.  No, actually a standing ovation is in order.

As Zoe in House of Cards poignantly stated in the first season when her boss called her a nasty 4-letter word that would raise the hair on any woman’s neck (and she recorded it on her phone), “You should know you aren’t talking to just one person these days, you are talking to a thousand.”  This is a known fact- especially when it comes to social media.

But, unfortunately, the problem is that some people feel dangerously empowered by the fact that they are faceless behind a keyboard.  That’s the whole point of being uber careful about what you post, understanding that everything you do and say is a reflection of your brand online.  So, if two grown men possessed the stupidity, arrogance, and lack of decency that led them to post multiple disrespectful and embarrassing things directed at Curt’s daughter, Gabby, they deserve all of the public humiliation they are getting.  And, frankly, just maybe it will cause someone else to THINK before they post something they will regret.

Curt has had a big voice lately.   A big voice that just might ring in someone’s ear before they click ‘post’ and think they can hide behind an anonymous Twitter handle or a keyboard.  As Curt said, it isn’t the internet or social media- it’s human beings that make bad choices.  It is not ok to say anything online that causes hurt or harm to another- ever.  And, it’s certainly not ok to post anything online that you wouldn’t say to someone in person.

The internet and social media are awesome and powerful tools that require respectful use.  As electronic parents, this is a good opportunity to have the conversation and cover this critical lesson for our children.  A dirty digital footprint is about as useful to their future and career as a broken finger is to a World Series pitcher…

 

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