I am immeasurably glad that when I was a bullied teen, Facebook didn’t exist yet. Every time I read a piece about a teenager who hurts themselves or others, kills themselves or runs away from home because of threats in the schoolyard which have expanded to social media, I feel sick to my stomach. We all know how thoughtless and cruel many teenagers can be, and on the Internet (as anyone who has ever read a comment forum or worked in a toxic workplace knows) even adults can display a lack of the most basic empathy. Fortunately, social media also provides places for people experiencing bullying and people who are bullying survivors to come together, support each other and offload their experiences. As Twitter might say, it’s a #mixedblessing.
Hold on. I know it isn’t easy.
Unrelated note: I’m waiting for my parents to fly in to go to my graduation. Their flight has been cancelled and they don’t know when they’ll get in. So I’m doing a little bit of work, watching a firecracker of a World Cup match between Spain and the Netherlands, and posting some great Africa-related shared content I’ve come across in the past few days. Stay tuned.