Social Media and an Increase in Cyberbullying

Reading Time: 5 minutes

It seems like as we connect to each other online more, cyber-bullying is more prevalent. Kids have been making fun of each other forever, and even adults have been caddy within their friend groups. But as I’ve been more active on social media, it seems like the golden rule has been thrown out the window. I’m not the only one that has experienced bullying or harassment online. Again, watch the news and you’ll see. Even a few weeks ago, a fellow instagrammer took his account down temporarily because of the nasty comments he was receiving for his 200+ pounds transformation photo.

I know many of you will read this and say 1. ignore them – I’m pretty sure I was told the same thing in grade school; 2. block them – I do that, trust me I do that. 3. back to number 1 and don’t engage with them.

Well, here’s the problem. So many of them think they’re telling you something you don’t know. Many of them don’t seem to have an issue with being rude or mean to a stranger. Many of them don’t even care about you, your story, etc. So if they’re going to put themselves out there in that way, why shouldn’t I at least acknowledge that they exist? I was teased and made of as a kid. I was pushed down the stairs and called names. Teachers told me to ignore the bullies because it would stop. It wasn’t until I was in middle school and actually swung back, resulting in a suspension, that the kids in my grade stopped messing around, until we moved to a new school district – same thing all over again. But that fight, I remember that fight. I remember when my dad told my nanny to take me to dinner, anywhere I wanted because he was proud that I finally stood up for myself. The second fist fight didn’t end in pizza, but they were still proud that I stood up for myself.

So online. I have a public profile because I want to share my story. I have nothing to hide. I have told you about my history with binging. I have shared ups and downs. I have shared competition prep and meals and my boyfriend and surgery with you all. This started as a blog because I love writing, but many don’t read, they just see. It’s not hard to jump to conclusions when you don’t read a caption, but only like or see a photo. There’s a reason I post on my visual blog (IG) when I have a new post on my blog.

Below is an exchange from today on this morning’s progress photo.

I am feisty because seriously, who gives a shit that much to tell someone that they need to wax or shave or “be kept” – whatever the hell that means. Now, am I truly expecting her to have seen last week’s progress photos where I actually said I can’t wait to see my waxer? No, I’m not, but at the same time she’s just talking to talk, so why can’t I? It’s clear that she doesn’t follow me, but that’s something that I think is important to emphasize. I’m not making anyone follow my journey, look at my photos, like or comment.Also, I love that little middle finger emoji, I don’t use it enough. I also appreciated the opportunity to say vagina. VAGINA. There I said it again.

For someone who doesn’t follow me, it’s interesting that her initial comment says I always looked unkept.So clearly, someone doesn’t have Saturday plans because she must have dug back into my feed. For someone who doesn’t follow me, she felt compelled to say something. She also failed to read because you all know I’m moving and that’s why the apartment looks worse than normal. You also know that I do a lot of travel for work so I don’t typically care how the place looks – I just need a path to the bathroom and fridge and back to bed again. But I guess I can relate to her, I hate when people have better lives than I believe my own to be, I sit there and pout and think of all the ways to be a dick instead of all the ways I can improve my own life.

*please note Tracie is being ridiculous in response to this woman’s ridiculousness… I don’t actually color on my crotch like Tracie suggests.

Cool, so now we attack the only true visible feature on my body. Beautiful. Like I say in my response, there’s more to life than dwelling on imperfections. I have had so many women tell me that they are scared to have surgery because of the scaring. Not all scars look great. Not everyone heals perfect. But if I had let the possibility of poor scaring prevent me from surgery then I would be unhappy. I ultimately would always feel that I couldn’t enjoy the body I had worked hard for. I wouldn’t want to compete anymore. Being intimate would still be terrifying. I would still be stuck in spanx in all kinds of weather, not that my compression garment is much better at the moment, but I know it’s not permanent.

She states that my butt is flat, well I can assure you that it’s not. It may not be as big as Kim K’s, but mine is real and I built it with squats and deadlifts and carbs oh my! I can shape my body by working on features that do displease me, but those who choose to be nasty to strangers have a lovely black heart and a strong dislike for themselves. You can’t make someone develop self love, especially when they don’t realize that the hate they spread is a result of self hate.

I have blocked her account along with so many that can’t just see a photo and keep scrolling. We all make judgements, but many of us know when to keep our opinions to ourselves.

I may open up myself to comments because I’m a public account, but people like this open themselves to being acknowledged because they started it. That’s really all there is. That rubber and glue stuff can only go so far. It’s been pretty stressful the past few weeks, I haven’t hid that from you at all. So yeah, I may be more feisty than normal because there are other things going on that are stressing me out, but as a 27-year-old I’m going to stand up for myself and let people like this know that their words have an impact, even online and even to strangers. Someone else may not say something back, but I believe I owe it to my 7 year old self and my 12 year old self and my 16 year old self. Fuck, I think I owe it to Cristina from 2009 when she was 20 years old. Bullying never ends, but if you never speak up people will never start reflecting on what they say to others.

So speak up, if not for yourself, for the person you see being bullied.

<3 Cristina

1 thought on “Social Media and an Increase in Cyberbullying”

  1. You go girl! Screw those people, apparently they didn’t have decent parents to teach them that if you don’t have anything nice to say don’t say anything at all. Anyone who actually follows you knows how hard you work and how much you bust your ass for what you have. You rock! Keep on doing you!

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