I have mixed emotions.
Last night, I watched Harry’s Law. The topic of the show was Harry’s defending of a teenager with a snark blog whose bullying of a schoolmate led to suicide. They took a very hot topic, and while I think they handled it well, bringing out an awareness, especially talking about the suicide from bullying topics that have been going around, I was left with mixed feelings.
I have been a victim of online bullying–flaming, name calling, pictures defamed, etc, even so far as having my blog attacked 3 years after I had left the forum–and I will admit that I cried through most of the show.
The problem was that I sympathized with the girl doing the bullying too. I didn’t want to see her go to jail for manslaughter because of her blog. She was bullied and in return she became a bully. She was wrong to do what she did, and she knew it, and it would have been a better ending for the girl to have said she would give up the blog, but she didn’t say that. Harry got her off, though the case was presented very well by the opposing attorney.
In the end, it really made you think. How many of us enjoy the Huffington Post or Perez Hilton? Harry made some valuable points to ponder. As long as the cruel blogs are cool, people are going to read them. As long as people read them, people aspire to write them.
Why? Because it makes you popular. As the girl stated on the witness stand, her blog started as just a way for her to vent off frustrations at being a nobody at school. Then she quickly got more and more readers, and stepped up what she was doing as a result to keep her readers happy.
Isn’t that what we all do? We post what we think our readers will want to read to keep them coming? To get their attention? To revel in the numbers?
How do we stop this cycle?
So, I’m making a commitment. Again.
I made it once before, but it needs to be reminded.
I am committed to the Mom Pledge, but it means more to me than just wiping out mom to mom bullying. I am a mom, so I am taking it one step further.
I am committing to watching and being actively involved in all things my children do on the internet, including what they post and what they read. I am committing to banning those harmful snark blogs, no matter how funny, from my house, from my internet, from my children’s eyes.
Won’t you take The Mom Pledge today? Will you take my commitment with me and ban snark blogs from your computer? Maybe if we don’t read them, they will lose their power.
I can dream, can’t I?