Google says cyber bullying is the act of harassing someone online by sending or posting mean and or embarrassing messages. Whenever I thought of cyber bullying, I always had teenagers in mind. Like, it’s a game played by insecure adolescent boys and girls. Turns out I was wrong. It recently happened to me. The traumatic experience I went through is beyond words. Anyway, I got over it.
About two days ago, I was chatting with this young man on Facebook, let’s call him Ell, who was terribly bullied on this torturous group, ‘Kilimani Mums’. In fact, I remember after that thoughtless cruel flow of comments, I immediately left the group. Note: I have nothing against Kilimani Mums, furthermore, everyone has a right to freedom of speech/expression on matters around them. My bif is though, when this freedom is used to intimidate and humiliate others, what do we call that? And this ‘Kilimani Mums’ of a group is where cyber bullying has become prevalent. And there’s a new one, ‘Kilimani Mums and Dads’…lol! Apparently even men have been enrolled into this modern day gossiping system. (Sigh) Anyway, what do I know? But like I said, I have nothing against ‘Kilimani Mums’ there are those days when there are amazing stories to read, hilarious reads that make a dull day bright… But then again, I wasn’t the one who said, “one rotten fish makes the whole catch stink.” Most of the shares there are just pathetic. Sijui my husband cheated with my house girl, mara oh! My best friend/sister lungulad with my husband, sijui my boss did what, my neighbour came at me… How helpful is the exposé at the end of the day really?
Lemmi go back to my guy Ell;
“For a while I thought myself in hell as I read through the unforseen mean comments, leave alone the post itself.” He said. “Imagine waking up one morning to find a photo of you trending among a bunch of ruthless women, with it exposing my name, where I live and ‘my HIV status’. I almost died of the heated desire to kill every grown woman that participated in the conversation. It took me days to recover.”
What happened to “do unto others what you want to be done unto you?” I mean, it could be your son, daughter, mother, father, husband or wife or even yourself being bullied. How would you feel? Whether the rumor was true or false, is it really indispensable?
Sometime last week, I was cyber bullied by one villager. I never knew how it felt until it happened to me. “Only the bearer of the shoe, knows where it pinches.” They were right. Just when I had decided to take a short break off Facebook, I had even uninstalled the App, the devil himself decided to visit my ‘premises’. I remember I woke up to a mysterious missed call. “What on heavens does this person want from me?” I asked my inner me. But then, out of courtesy, I called them back. “Jenny kwani ni nini mnaulizana na Nanii?” She asked. “Why?” I quickly responded. “Niliona post alikua amepost kukuhusu.” I hurriedly hanged the call and logged in to Facebook, using Opera Mini. Haraka haraka! searching for Nanii’s timeline only to find that whether it is they had posted, they had brought it down. Luckily for me, I missed the the original post plus the hurtful comments that am certain had been made. Especially by women. Why am I certain there were comments, especially by women? Because it is not the first time Nanii had posted idiotic messages about a woman and thoughtless women flooded his post with idiotic comments.
Less than a month ago, Nanii had bullied another lady the same way, (and it wasn’t the first time either) and so I wasn’t surprised. And that is how Ell and I begun conversing on inbox. Unfortunately, he had seen the post, made a screen shot and sent it to me. And not just him, several others had too. Why I chose to chat with him is because he had been a victim of cyber bullying and he knew best how it feels.
I was devastated for a while. I hadn’t seen it coming to me and so it hit me so hard, I could barely hold back emotions. Out of the heat of that moment, I called Nanii. The dwanzi had the guts to pick up. He even threatened to do another post of which he did. And this time he made it on my timeline. I was dumbfounded. I wanted to retaliate. But then I thought, “why should I compete with a desperate loser, a village dunderhead, who is in so much pain and thinks by causing it to others will heal his own?” And so, I gave him the free pass to my timeline, to post whatever he felt will please his low self esteem. It took me a whole 24hours plus… To recover. But I eventually recovered.
Why do bullies bully anyway? (I have learnt)
“Jealousy: When folks are jealous of you, an inner demon takes them over. Then they
defame, harass and discredit you.
Insecurity : Remember that bullies are often lacking something crucial in their lives and they seek pain in others, so do not fill this void for them by gracing them a reaction.
Intimidation: You are something they can never be or doing something they can never do. Hatred and envy sets in and the bullying begins.”
Folks! who will teach our kids how to settle disputes amicably, if we, the parents of today are desperately competing with teenagers on cyber bullying?
To every cyber bully out there,(anonymous or otherwise) Shame on you!