Over the last few years I’ve been feeling more and more anxious about the state of the world. You can’t help but be apprehensive given what’s happening in the political scape as well as the environmental dangers that our planet is facing. This is especially magnified when you have children. There’s another unsettling issue that aggravates my worries. It seems that this generation is a bunch of bullies hiding behind the veil of anonymity that the Internet provides. Keyboard warriors as they are known, although I believe the word troll is far more suitable. Have we as people always been this nasty? We just didn’t have a proper outlet for it? Or is this viciousness the product of too much information, too much stimuli, too many superficial role models, too many products at our fingertips. Whatever the reason, the result is the same. You see it every single day on your social media feeds, especially with the current political climate, people attacking each other. There’s not much constructive debate or volleying ideas back and forth. It’s just a bunch of aggressors denigrating their targets in the lowest manner they possibly can. Unfortunately this behavior is not limited to political conversations, it permeates into every single facet of life from insulting beauty queens to celebrity babies. Nothing is sacred anymore. There’s no longer any respect.
I read tragic stories all too often of teenagers (and preteens even) committing suicide due to cyber bullying. This absolutely terrifies me. I think back to when I was in high school. Sure we had the notorious school intimidators who made life miserable for a lot of kids. But the children who were victims of bullying often had a reprieve when they went home as there was no social media back then. These days, the kids get no break at all. The computer is omnipresent which allows the bullies to be as well. I fear for my own children when they get to that age. The teen years are so difficult to begin with, adding that kind of dynamic is frightening.
Is this the new normal? Is it going to get worse? But the most important question is what can we do about it? I for one don’t want my kids, the next generation, to be subjected to such hatred. I remember my childhood and teen years were made up of innocent and joyous moments. For the most part it was unsullied. Is it too much to want that for my children? I refuse to accept that this is just the way it is. I think that we can turn the tide. For our children…our FUTURE.