Sunday, April 5, 2015

SHAMED TO DEATH: WEARING THE SCARLET LETTER IN TODAY'S VIRTUAL WORLD

Reading the Scarlet Letter is something high school English teachers have insisted upon for years.  It's a classic.  Its author is said to have forged a glittering path for great American literature.  It is a culturally significant work to which many sayings, subsequent works of literature, and films have alluded.  This is all true.  As we read a work like this, it is easy to get caught up and tangled in the older more eloquent language and the extremely religious lifestyle and culture of American Puritans.  As we read Hester's story, we shake our heads in disbelief.  Who could imagine a society in which personal private decisions are against the law, and punishable in a very public way?

Adultery, while a breach of the marriage contract, is not a legal matter anymore.  It is not against the law to be punishable by prison time and social ostracization.  But we are very naive if we believe that private decisions and actions/behaviors go unpunished in today's society.  We are even more naive if we believe that sins like promiscuity or adultery do not face heavy social penalties despite the fact that they are not within arm's reach of the law.

If Hester Prynne were alive and real today, she may not have spent three months in a physical jail cell, but in many ways, I am sure it would have felt like that.  There are no more town center platforms complete with hanging scaffolds and stocks, but social media has raised public humiliation to an all time new high and extended the critical stares and pointing fingers out and beyond the town walls.

So, while we may not be able to imagine living in a society that can legally have a person shunned and socially banned for scandalous decisions, the effect is ultimately the same:  the one charged with the sin and convicted on Facebook, Twitter or Snapchat is still left with a very clear message that he or she is social pariah.  

I find it quite appropriate that we concluded our reading of Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter in the light of spring's dawning.  Spring is, for many, a time of rebirth and renewal.  Many of us celebrated Passover and Easter this weekend, also times when we reflect on our significance, the preciousness of life, and the grace of redemption.  This is what Hester Prynne sought in the sunlit forest.  It is what many people today seek in the warmth of a smile, a kind word, a forgiving heart or a compassionate ear.

In the following TED Talk, Monica Lewinsky, a woman all too familiar with living in the spotlight of technologically advanced shaming, shares a little bit of her personal story of what it is like to be branded with the scarlet A, and explains why she has chosen this time in her  life  to stand up and do something about it.  The biggest message?  The price of shame since Hester's time has escalated, and sometimes it is ultimately too high for the victim to pay.   Watch the video and then comment on two things:  what spoke to you the loudest and what YOU will personally do to change our shame culture today.

We live in interesting times.  We feel more sophisticated, yet our own petty and cruel natures still surface in even more deadly ways.  We feel more accepting of different beliefs and lifestyles, yet have the ability to smear a man's or woman's reputation irreparably with the click of the mouse.  We shake our heads at racism, sexism, and discrimination and then turn to our friends and share  malicious gossip about someone else, all the time telling ourselves, "I may make mistakes, but I would NEVER do what she did!"  So, that begs the question then:  what do we do?

When gossip is shared in the hallways, walk away.  Don't take part in it or even give it your listening ear.  If someone is being bullied or whispered about, stand up for him or her rather than remaining silent. And, if someone is being ostracized or shamed online, reach out to the victim and counter it with a word of encouragement and then report it.  Brene Brown, psychologist and expert on shame, tells us that "shame cannot survive empathy."  The price of public shaming can ultimately be death: emotional and, if it gets too hard to bear, physical.  The weapon we need to fight this deadly poison is compassion.

Make sure your arsenals are full.

https://www.ted.com/talks/monica_lewinsky_the_price_of_shame?language=en

34 comments:

  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  2. I've had to deal with a few bullies in my short life so far. I like to laugh at all the things I've recently noticed about these people. I would like to put out there though, not to insult anyone but in my own opinion, that the people who decide to kill themselves due to bullying are cowards. We as humans don't seem to understand that there is a better side to things, and that you aren't here to make everyone happy. If someone hates you or puts you down in some way, then you should know yourself to either not be those things, or strive to prove them wrong. Being weak in the heart and mind isn't something that you just have to live with, it's something that you must put effort in yourself to fix, and it can happen, but it isn't always easy and that's why you have your friends. You were given the life you have and you have a purpose of being here on earth. In my opinion, Monica didn't really do anything wrong for having feelings for the President. She fell in love with someone, and what's even more irritating, is that you have these little girls running around talking about how they love these celebrities and how they do things extremely ridiculous as in harming their bodies and such over these singers who couldn't care less about them. Yet, I feel they get no attention for these pitiful acts. I could go on forever about this subject, but i'll cut it off here..

    No part spoke to me more then the other, the whole subject is a sensitive one for me and I feel that we prioritize trying to seem better then others more then just admitting we did something wrong and getting over it, or just helping each other get over hard times. I try my best to stay out of things that have to do with others flaming people on their mistakes, but you can't avoid everything due to the persistence of some people. I've had to tell a person to shut their trap due to what they were attempting to do through talking about a conflict and trying to make one party look like the bad guy, and I have also slapped a kid across the face due to them calling a girl's dress slutty at a dance. It's not something I like to play around with, and I am hoping to at least touch a few peoples hearts so they don't either. Honestly, people just need to learn to have a little bit of humility..

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  3. I think with the Monica Lewinsky story it wasn't that she loved the President, it was that they had an illicit affair in the Oval Office and then he publicly lied about it. It was quite a scandal, and Miss Lewinsky suffered the most. Online, in the papers, in the magazines and on television, she was pretty much tried and convicted in public, not just in the US, but all over. I remember my husband and I were in Paris in August, 1998, and it was a hot topic of discussion in France, too. I cannot imagine how humiliating it must have been for her.

    I agree with you about the need for humility and and compassion.

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  4. What spoke to me the loudest in this video was the part where she was talking about how her parents were watching her 24/7 to make sure that she would be okay. I thought it was a beautiful section of the speech even though it is all about humiliation. But it reminds me of a conversation from a while ago about how you can't have happiness without unhappiness. No matter how much people try, there will always be bullies, but at the same time, there will also always be empathetic people there. There will always be someone there to help you when nothing is going your way and the whole world is against you. There is always someone who can help you. My part to helping is being more empathetic because I usually do not like to talk about that kind of stuff, but even a little bit of empathy can help.

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  5. May I just start off and say dang, that is not where I thought it was going. I honestly rewatched it to make sure she did say her boss that she had fallen in love with was the President. I can not even imagine what she must of felt like going through this. You can tell by the way she spoke how much that time in her life affected her. I love that she shared more stories similar to hers, it made me choke up a little. I personally do not understand how as human beings we can so easily degrade one another and are so quick to judge because each of us sin differently. There is a show called Scandal, which I admit to watching, that is about the President having an affair. So why can we destroy her life then make a show about it for our entertainment? Things like this frustrate me beyond belief. Lately some people close to me have been told to kill themselves. First off, it blows my mind how anyone can say that so carelessly and second off when did this become okay in our society? People can be so childish. I think things like this need to be taken very seriously and people who flaunt around their words like that need to have a consequence. They need to learn it is not okay, and it will never be okay.

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  6. She used the word "clicks" over and over and it stood out. Thats really all it is a bunch of clicks, on a tablet, or a mouse. People think that the internet is safe, EVEN THOUGH they are reminded with every new story that it isn't. At this point every one is aware of the harm this, enemy we call the internet. Honestly people have to get some common sense and just understand that everything electronic can be tracked, texts, emails, phone calls. So if your going to do something personal write it down or say something to someone face to face (which I am considering doing form now on). People are going to be cruel online, there is nothing we can do now to change that, but it can be fixed,by keeping your PERSONAL life what it's supposed to be, personal. And if you have someone you want to share that with thats fine, but do it in person and there would be no need to worry about people telling you to "off yourself" , they will just move on to the next person.

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  7. What spoke to me most was that even when the internet was just taking its first technological steps, one of the first stories to be inflated was negative. Isn't that what our society often does? We look at the world through a glass half empty. I find it fascinating that in other countries they have the mantra of "I need to find the strength to get through this problem" whereas in America we have the mantra of "how can I leave this problem". That is exactly what Monica Lewinsky did, she disappeared from society altogether. People reacted to her private life so horribly, she felt the only way out was to flee from her shame. That's terrible. We as humans are capable of so much and yet we seem to repeat a pattern of cruelty. Although, most people never find the strength to rise up from their past Monica Lewinsky did. She took her history and used all her pain to motivate others in similar situations. That's so beautiful.
    I think the way to prevent issues like this is to focus on your own life, to focus on what you love and making the world a little bit better everyday through that. Not to say to shut people out but to ignore/ prevent the negativity that goes on. As Brene Bryan says "shame cannot survive empathy". We should try to show compassion to others. But with saying that we should not meet bullying/cruelty with violence (violence is not the answer).

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    1. This was my favorite: We as humans are capable of so much and yet we seem to repeat a pattern of cruelty. Although, most people never find the strength to rise up from their past Monica Lewinsky did. She took her history and used all her pain to motivate others in similar situations. That's so beautiful. SO insightful, Ashlynd! Thank you for posting that!

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  8. I thought I recognized the name Monica Lewinsky, but couldn't seem to place it. It all clicked into place when she said she'd fallen in love with the president. I found that her struggle was one that made perfect sense to me. She was forced to go through what many would later identify as cyber-bullying, but on what I think is a much larger than that of any other. The thing that stood out to me was that she managed to make it out of all of this. She was able to eventually pick herself back up from a place that nobody should have to be. I think that she is a great example of how people who are bullied can end up. They can accept the past as she seems to have, and eventually pull themselves back up from that dark place. At the point when she spoke about the boy who killed himself over ridicule for being a homosexual, that stood out to me. This internet bullying is a much bigger problem than we seem to see it as. I find it absolutely horrible, and I see it as another reason that humanity is overall bad, and even though there are those who stand up to it, since the overwhelming mass do not, this is going to continue. The only way this would stop is if we were able to take down social media completely. People are always going to be terrible, and the only way this is going to stop is if the medium that they use to bully is taken down itself.

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  9. I felt terrible for Miss Lewinsky! She was cyber bullied and humiliated for being in love! That crushes me(my romantic side) because you can love whoever you want.

    Then she said it was a mistake and she fell in love with the wrong person. I totally understood her pain though. She made herself vulnerable, fell in love with the president, then, because of a single click, she was instantly humiliated and bombarded with articles and posts because of her mistake. What surprised me the most was that she was in her early 20's when this incident happened and she is 40 and is barely coming to the public to speak about how she is finally over it.

    I feel like if there was no social media or even the internet, every mistake you've made would be thrown in your face when you're in public, but you could hide from that in the privacy of your home and decide to do something about it and stand up for yourself, admit your mistake, and you'd be able to take in all the ridicule easier(at least, I would). But because we live in this very modern technologically advanced society, that is 100 times more difficult to achieve. Everybody either has a phone, a computer/laptop, or both at all times. People are awake in the middle of the night to browse the web or social media, if more people are awake and aware of what mistakes you're making, more and more judgment will come to you. You won't be able to hide from it or escape because there is always going to be something somewhere on the internet that will NEVER go away. EVER.
    And you'll have to deal with that every
    single
    day.

    That's hard! Instead of bullying people, why not say something nice for a change? I bet one positive comment would make someones day slightly better. If only everybody chipped in on the positivity, there would be less cyber bullying and more people happy with themselves.

    Also, why hate? Choose love <3

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  10. There were actually quite a few things that stood out to me. One of them is when she said that reputation was your dignity. I believe that to be true because when your reputation is hurt so is your dignity. And when she says her reputation was hurt, her life was unbearable. The story about the 18-year-old boy who committed suicide really struck me hard to the point where I almost cried. Its crazy how hard humiliation can hit a person and affect a person. How crazy it is that humiliation is a more felt emotion than happiness or even anger. People are so concerned on what others thing of them and the humiliation that can come from an action, or shame. Something about shame though, is it cannot survive empathy. If someone empathizes with the wrong you have done it is no longer shame. Something I think I can personally do to change our shame culture today is stop the gossip, stop the getting into others lives to figure out what everyone else is doing to judge them. Why should I care what is going on in your life and why should you care what is going on in mine? As a person I need to start focusing on me as an individual and forget about the gossip around me.

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  11. This video definitely is food for thought. It's crazy to think that she was the first true victim of cyberbullying, and even more that it unfolded in such a spectacular debacle. The thing that, for me, made the story most horrific was how she explained the ways in which her shame was used for personal gain by others. The banner ads, the proto-blogging. People were using her experience to garner notoriety for themselves, which is completely disgusting. Nowadays, we see similar things, but in smaller quantities. People are exposed on the internet, but hardly on such a large scale. Another thing she touched on briefly was how cyberbullying is inescapable, and how you can never really hide from the modern form of shame. It's permanent and contagious. I thought it's quite tragic that, even more than a decade later, Monica is remembered for one thing, and one thing only. For some, she's an event, a joke. Not a real person. It is a shame that humans have such an ingrained need to hurt each other, especially when it's so easy and devastating in the digital age. I hope her story will help to change human nature before it's too late.

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  12. This was a deeply emotional speech. Among everything, the part that stood out most to me was the amplification of shame through the internet, and online bullying surpassing physical bullying in the modern world.

    The anonymity in much of the online world is by far the deadliest factor. Anonymous commenters lose all need for caution and restraint in their comments, as what they say ceases to be tied to their own reputations. Any sense of honor departs immediately when faced with these circumstances. Acting without consequence, attention and crude pleasure at the cost of another, freedom built on slavery, all very familiar ideas to Mrs. Caraway's Language and Literature scholars. We are the ones encouraging and supporting this environment, we are the ones making this possible. We are laying the foundation for a million pixellated scaffolds on which not only the ignominious individuals and the tokens of their miscellaneous errors may be displayed, but even the visual and audible characteristics of their errors as they happen. We are the anxious puritans gathered around, glaring at their unnaturally preserved deeds, our eyes piercing their privacy, our mouths ajar at their insolence, and our hands slowly drawn to our hearts, where our own secrets burn, momentarily hidden behind paper walls.

    This abominable practice is seeping in ever greater quantities into our succeeding generations, corrupting their hearts at a time when all goodness is deeply threatened. Corruption cannot breed purity. The question was posed in the New Testament, in Romans 6:1 "Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound?", and it is a question that holds true even today. We will not create a good society for ourselves and our descendants by ignoring these growing diseases. It is our responsibility to stand up for those who cannot help themselves. We cannot ever allow ourselves to remain in a situation where we add to their misery. Social media is, as was mentioned, a prominent battlefield in the conflict, and I have no place there. Personally then, I must make my own efforts to concern those I come into contact with. I will make an effort consistently, and especially in these upcoming days, to take note of positive qualities of every person I see, in order to be able to support them should they have need of it.

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    1. So beautifully said. I especially love this: We are laying the foundation for a million pixellated scaffolds on which not only the ignominious individuals and the tokens of their miscellaneous errors may be displayed, but even the visual and audible characteristics of their errors as they happen. We are the anxious puritans gathered around, glaring at their unnaturally preserved deeds, our eyes piercing their privacy, our mouths ajar at their insolence, and our hands slowly drawn to our hearts, where our own secrets burn, momentarily hidden behind paper walls.

      I love how you tied this back to The Scarlet Letter this way. We think so much has changed, when maybe it really hasn't at all--it just looks different. I am very pleased to hear that you will make an effort to notice the positive qualities in people. How I wish everyone could do that. Imagine our world!

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  13. This video was not at all what I thought it was going to be by any means. I thought we were going to be watching another video about what shame is or something of that sort, but I was pleasantly surprised. I knew this woman and her story, although this event took place the year I was born. I have seen articles, heard the voice clips from her, have seen pictures of her and the president, and have seen news clippings of this story. I found that I knew all of this and have seen or heard all of this very interesting and saddening that I knew her what happened even though it happened the year I was born. I have always criticized those woman that individuals or involved with or have an affair with because it is famous people (even though I would feel the same with a normal person that I know), but I always get angry when finding out that the president had an affair or is involved with another woman and I feel like it is because our country has put the president, so much ahead of everyone else that when a citizen has an affair it seems like nothing compared to the president having one. Now that I listen to Monica Lewinsky's story, it makes me angry that I got angry at her because she was publicly criticized for a mistake that she made and almost lost everything because of it when there are people having affairs everyday and they don't have to go through anything close to what she experienced. After watching this video, I truly feel sorry for feeling that way about her and also for the way she was treated. It also makes me want to go do the same thing to the people who do that to celebrities, just to see how they feel, but then there goes that anger again.

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  14. Overall this speech is very powerful. The words shame and humiliation stood out the most to me. We can see her guilt it’s still haunting her when she speaks about what happened and how she felt about it. It is very sad to hear about suicide and how her mother was always afraid that she would take her own life. The main thing that stood out to me was how she was in the bubble of social media and when the affair occurred their was a bubble burst of humiliation and now we see it more often than ever before. Cyber bulling is real and should be taken seriously. Monica Lewinsky is a very strong woman, she has a really good character and is very passionate about what she speaks. I’ve read many articles about how she helps others and even though this might have ruined a big part of her life. It could be a blessing as well to others because this speech and many others could have saved many peoples lives. She was publicly humiliated and that is one of the worst feelings in the world. It is very hard to change our shame culture today, especially when everyone is entitled to ‘freedom of speech’, although whatever they might be saying is rude, humiliating, harsh or careless. The best things to do it’s that when it is occurring stand up for what is right because in the end others might help you when help is needed.

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    1. Yes! I agree. So often the worst things that happen to people end up being that gift of experience they can give to bless someone else and help them through a tough experience. We may not like pain and humiliation and suffering, but by God we certainly learn a lot through them, and hopefully, use that knowledge to help someone else.

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  15. It was horrible that she was cyber bullied. I know how it feels to be attacked online, you feel hopeless and as if nothing can be done. Her speech could be an eye opener to many people, I sure hope it is an eye opener to the ones who are the bully and open the eyes to adults that cyber bullying is a real thing and can potentially scare a child. To an adult there reputation is damaged, they are permanently humiliated. I hope more people will be able to see the damage and pain cyber bully is able to cause.

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  16. This video was absolutely incredible. It was crazy to see how cyber bullying can really impact someone's life. I've heard and still hear about several suicides that were and are committed due to cyber bullying but to hear a firsthand account was very interesting because unfortunately victims of bullying in general are not always able to speak out about what happened to them and how it made them feel exactly. I really loved that she was able to stay positive throughout her speech too. I know that if I had faced all she had to face positivity would definitely be hard for me. So much of what she said stuck out to me, but I really liked the "click with compassion" statement. That really stood out to me and that is something that I will definitely try to remember and do from now on. I never have been the type to think that anyone deserves to be treated so rudely for making mistakes. I think people need to remember that not everyone is perfect and we all make mistakes. Love is a powerful emotion and unfortunately it can lead us to make choices we'll regret, but who hasn't made choices they regret for any reason? I really appreciated this talk and even shared it with some family and friends.

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  17. “A click reverberated around the world.” This statement can literally define how our world works now. I think it’s absolutely crazy that she was the first person to be cyberbullied. As I say that, I realize it sounds wrong, because it just goes to show how long it has been around and how much people do it. I hate how you can just look up Monica’s name, and she still comes up at ‘the Lewinsky scandal’. Cyberbullying is a huge thing. She even mentioned how that man jumped from a building, because he was a victim. It’s wrong that the feeling of guilt that overtakes us when we do something wrong seems to turn trivial. Listening to her talk about everything her and people she knew went through made me almost sick to my stomach. It’s funny how people can smile when in your presence, but can ridicule you behind a screen. I just don’t understand why people think it is okay to ruin someone else’s life for their own personal gain. We live in a world where we can sell one another's privacy, and that is not okay...no matter how much someone can convince themselves it is.

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  18. The thing that stood out to me was when Monica said "Overnight, I went from a completely private figure to a publicly humiliated one worldwide." That stood out to me because it shows how much power social media has. Something can happen in one minute and then the whole world knows about it the next. And since it spread not only through the television, the radio, and the newspaper like news used to be spread, she got the input of everyone in the world. She was publicly shamed just like Hester Prynne was, but on a much more deeper level. Hester Prynne was only shamed in her town. Monica was shamed throughout the world and is shamed in rap songs. She can never escape her mistake because the whole world is familiar with it. Hester Prynne coulis escape her fate, but Monica can't due to social media. To make a change in our shame culture, I'm going to stand up for people that are being bullied. If that means that I may get bullied, then so be it. No one deserves to be shamed on for their mistakes. The bullies act like they're all high and mighty because no one knows what mistakes they made. Once people find out what they did, they get double standards and say how it's not fair to be bullied for their mistake when they were the ones who bullied someone else. Just because it isn't happening to you, doesn't mean it's okay to do it to someone else.

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  19. "Public shaming as a blood sport has to stop. "
    I could not agree more with the statement above. As a society, we have created some aspects of the internet, or any social media, no longer enjoyable. We have taken private, intimate content and turned it into a tool to chastise and humiliate an individual. The worst part is not knowing who is behind the screen causing this public shame, and seeing it spread like wildfire making it quite difficult to stop, or avoid. It is action without consequence to the anonymous, but action with heavy consequence to the victim.

    This speech hit very close to home, and spoke very broadly of the issue we have in our world today that is cyber bullying. The strength of this woman, though at first she chose to hide and isolate, is fascinating to me. I could not imagine the confrontation of such intense humiliation. As humans and individuals in society, we all hold great power to uplift or bring down another. It is so sad that often the power is used with cruelty and horrendous intentions that we make someone feel the only way to escape such humility is to escape from it with life all together. That spoke to me the loudest. Where has our respect, compassion, empathy gone? When did it become okay to ever bully someone to death in any form? It makes me angry and disappointed that in the chain of so much cruelty and negativity we have silenced victims and their yearning for help and compassion. We have forgotten that people like Monica, too have souls, feelings, and are mostly human. She is shamed for a mistake. And I am a firm believer mistakes do not define you.

    How will I change to help turn around our culture of shame? Follow Monica's statements. Click with compassion, remember that behind the screen those individuals too, have a soul. The marks humans leave are too often scars. It's about damn time we start having some compassion.

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  20. I thought this video was going to go somewhere else and not about cyber bullying. It stood out to me that she is now comfortable to be open and talk about her story to raise awareness to try and help save other peoples lives. We all make mistakes and I think we should use those mistakes to raise awareness for things to help make sure the people you love dont make the same mistakes. I dont really see bullying as a huge problem at odyssey but if I see someone getting bullying I will definitely take a stand for them. I do get into gossip alot and I do want to work on that and not be involved in drama. It is crazy how fast things can be spread through social media and this video opened my eyes to be careful what I post and that even stupid troll comments I can make can have a huge effect on someones life and my goal is to only make positive comments. Words hurt and I know when I am angry or upset my words can be very hurtful and I dont want to be that way. Instead of tearing people down with my words I want to lift them up.

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  21. It is insane that we participate in this crude behavior all the time. Sometimes it is even without being conscience of it. I admit that even today I was scrolling threw instagram and saw a pic and thought to myself something about a person I shouldn't have. It sad that we judge people so quickly when we ourselves have so many flaws. I feel for this women. I'm not saying what she did was right but I also don't think it should have been plastered everywhere for the world to see. It is the same thing today in relationships. People think that if their relationship isn't all over social media then it never happened. It is also the quickest way for it to end. Things like that should be between those people not between them and the rest of the world.
    My personal goal is to watch my own thoughts and comments because I know I wouldn't want others to think or say those types of things about me.

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  22. For me, I feel really bad for Monica, and I have heard the numerous references to hear with social media and rap music. I own a song that has a line directed towards Monica Lewinski and I didn't understand it until later on hearing about what happened to her and President Clinton.
    I think it's sad and disgusting how people are mainly focusing on the female in this scandal and praising the man who is such a "hero" and a "humanitarian". Yes, everyone can change, but we are missing the fact that it wasn't just Monica that did these acts.
    While I did find that she wasn't really taking responsibility for her actions, and was blaming all of the internet and social media for humiliation, some of her points did stick out to me.
    "I can make you feel twenty-two again..." That is so gross, in my opinion. Here's the thing, for someone that has been flirted with, I've heard a vast number of pick up lines, some funny, and some really lame. However, if you are interested in someone, you shouldn't use their past mistakes to flatter them. That doesn't make any sense. You have completely disrespected them, and are using their past to make a sexual reference, which really just says what the guy wanted from her in the first place.
    "We are profit." That point made so much sense to me. All minorities, and just humans in general are cattle, and a single mistake or humor and can be spread so quickly with the many social media accounts that are out there in the world. When shame consumes a person and their life is taken, or their blood or tears are spilled, that is the villian's profit. I am okay to admit that I have talked bad about people, and justified it with, "Well I'm not as bad as him/her." As bad, does not make it okay to be rude.
    I've seen both sides. I have been humiliated before in a public setting. I've heard my name fall from the lips of my so-called friends, or people I had never talked to before. But I got over it, and the rumor soon faded. Do people sometimes bring it up? Yes, of course. Because everyone loves drama, and like the "Redskins scandal", it's only brought up when people are bored. It happens to everyone. Everyone has done something wrong, varying in severity, but it's our choice on how to handle it. We have better things to do with our time than talk trash about someone and compare ourselves.
    My solution, really is simply put. It's easier said than done, but it's true. We just walk away, stand up, or refrain from the temptation of wanting to share or like or comment on a rude post.

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  23. This is a topic I am not a fan of because I feel that as a generation we started a new trend that only ends in so many depressing consequences. I wasn't too sure about if I was going to like this video or not because some speeches, quotes and even movie adaptations of the subject don't give it justice. I remember a few years ago I read an article about cyber bullying and it left me really frustrated because it made it seem like cyber bullying is only a thing by youth but it's also adults. I often see on Facebook full grown adults bashing their boss, their coworker or even a person at the gas station. Humiliation was a word that stuck out to me the most. We are all human, we all make mistakes, only now our mistakes are documented for the whole world to judge because we think we can.
    Monica had such a bold take on the subject that made me even stop and think about the things I listened to on the radio or laughed about when watching television.
    I would not want to say I am a victim of cyber bullying because there are far severe cases out there but I absolutely have had the stereotypical "You're ugly" or "Nobody likes you" comment posted on multiple social media websites.
    I don't have a solution to cyber bullying because someone is going to do it. I'll never know why joy someone gets out of posting hurtful words online but I honestly have no idea how to control it. If somebody does though, please tell me.

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  24. What stood out to me the most from the video, was that she went from one day nobody knowing her to the next day, everyone knowing her and criticizing her. It was one of the biggest stories on the internet. I thought that was so awful. To have someone humiliated online for everyone to see like that. One mistake that occurs, everyone sees that and everyone is quick to judge, comment, and start to bully. When someone is trying to be successful, people are quick to look for something just to bring them down because they are not doing any better. It was sad that her parents felt like they had to be with her all the time, to make sure she was okay. It is sad that teens feel like they need to commit suicide because they feel like it is the only solution. Something we can do and what a lot of people should do to try to do to limit online bullying is if someone writes a negative comment about someone, to not encourage it. If that was you being judged you would not want people to agree and write more terrible comments encouraging them. Put yourself in their shoes and realize how humiliating it would be. If someone did something wrong I think it isn't anyone else's business and they should just move on.

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  25. Social Media has made it a lot easier to be cruel towards others, without very many consequences. Without consequences, it has shown us that many young people, and adults take advantage of that, and vent about their feelings, while that is fine, the line is fine where its just venting about feelings, and bashing on other people.
    Luckily, I have always found myself to be someone who tries not to dislike someone based off of snap judgments. I have trained myself, in a way, that if I see something that most people would consider "slutty", and I make a quick judgement, to go back, and tell myself to stop doing that, because I do not know them, and I have no place to judge. The goal really is, to teach people that if they make a snap judgement, they need to evaluate the reasoning behind it. They must identify if it is valid, and go from there. Or else, you will get the heinous situations, like Monica's. Where everything is bigger than it needed to be. I just try and teach myself, and hopefully teach others, that it isn't okay to see one thing, and think a certain way. That everything is built upon more than that, and to have a truly happier and safer world, we must react in ways that accept more, than they deny.

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  26. I'm surprised that Monica was the first person to be cyber-bullied. I thought that it would be someone else, like a random person somewhere in the world. I feel bad for people that are bullied over the internet, and I see it a lot. I don't think I can go watch a YouTube video now without seeing some mean comment about how the singer sucks, or a harsh comment to people who like the video. I see 30 plus replies to a comment which turns out to be this long argument over nothing. I play online games a lot, and cyber-bullying isn't exempt there. I myself am putdown on these online games, and it's sad to think that people just make fun of other people they don't even know over video games, or videos. Even I admit I've cyber-bullied, and I think it has just become part of our nature which to me is sad. I hope eventually something happens that puts an end to cyber-bullying, so the internet can at least be 1% safer.

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  27. That was really powerful. I was only a baby when the affair hit the news, so I don't remember Monica, but I thought that getting up there was really brave. That was actually what hit me the hardest: that even though you are publically humiliated and shamed before millions, you can still go on. Monica had an extremely hard time, and while I'm not condoning what she did, she did not deserve all she recieved. She managed to pull herself and her life together and is now speaking up against that kind of humiliation.

    I think that as far as changing the world, you can't start big and immediately get results. I will continue with what I have always thought was right: hearing all the sides of the stories and giving compassion to those who need it, and maybe don't deserve it. Because I know that everyone makes mistakes and if I was to make a mistake I would want compassion that I would not deserve. It may not always be easy to do, but giving compassion can literally save a life. I have never wanted anyone to die, and even if I hate someone, I know they don't deserve to be bullied to death. Compassion can save lives, and it needs to be more powerful than humiliation.

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  28. Honestly, best post ever! I love how empowering and how inspiring this is. She was put out there for humiliation, and it sucks for anyone in general to go through that. Social media has corrupted people from all generations, and it's honestly a disease. Media is also a way for sick minded people to attack others through their own profile or while making a fake profile because they don't have to guts to say it to their face. Compassion does help others get through hards times especially, since people take their own lives.

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  29. Honestly, best post ever! I love how empowering and how inspiring this is. She was put out there for humiliation, and it sucks for anyone in general to go through that. Social media has corrupted people from all generations, and it's honestly a disease. Media is also a way for sick minded people to attack others through their own profile or while making a fake profile because they don't have to guts to say it to their face. Compassion does help others get through hards times especially, since people take their own lives.

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  30. I really did enjoy this blog, mainly because I thought it was nice to see a different side of Monica Lewinsky. Or any side, really. Before this blog, I didn't really know much about her, aside from what transpired in the white house a few presidents ago. Occasionaly, my dad would joke about her indiscretion. Although I had only been a baby when everything went down,and I barely even knew who she was, I still saw her in a negative light. We see here how ones reputation can so easily be tarnished- and not se easily repaired. Now, with the internet, it's even harder to recover from something like this. You know, I always used to laugh at those little Phineas and Ferb ads on Disney channel that would warn you not to put anything on the internet that you may not want later, but now I see that the permanent record the police have isn't the only one about which you should be worrying.

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  31. I really like the way you spaced and organized your notes.
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