This series examines the emerging issue of bullying and how it is greatly affected by the growth of social media. Social media has enabled bullying to take on a whole new role known as cyber-bullying. Bullying has caused some ugly outcomes such as depression and suicide. Social media has made it possible for anyone to be attacked, no matter the age or gender.
Part 1: News Story
Aleksey Vayner was a Yale student who took another approach for a job interview. Like most, Vayner wanted to stick out to his future employers and leave an impression in their minds. When that impression turned viral, things went downhill fast.
Vayner, a senior at Yale University awaiting graduation where he would receive his well earned degree, was bullied to his death. After submitting a video resume to UBS, Vayner became the target of harassment from people all over the world. His video quickly spread all over the internet, making him the punching bag of all criticism. His video was seen as comical to almost everyone, the complete opposite effect that he was aiming for.
The comments and negative feedback eventually got so bad that Vayner was unable to show his face on campus yet alone any other company for application. Vayner ended up committing suicide soon after, and the blame is bullying.
The video was given directly to UBS, where someone must have released the video to the harsh web. Once the video was viral, there was no getting it back and everyone made a mockery of this video. Bullying doesn’t have to be physical face-to-face contact. Bullying can happen so discretely that you may not even know where it’s coming from. Cyber bullying is so easy to do. So many social media sites have been created over the year such as Twitter, Facebook, and even Blogs that can directly insult someone or bully him.
Most of the problem that stems from bullying is that people don’t actually realize potential harm that could come of it. People are under the impression that the words they type on the computer that insult or affect another person don’t really matter. It’s assumed that once the laptop is closed for the night, the negative, nasty comments never occurred. That is a sad theory, because the person who was on the receiving end of those comments will spend the rest of their day, week, and month thinking about them. This type of negativity not only affecting teenagers but adults too. People have suffered from extreme depression, low self-esteem and even eating disorders. Hearing negative comments or jokes that imply an insult, because more than what you see on the surface.
Schools tend to have strict policies on bullying, but are they strict enough? Anything can be written and seem like it has touched every possible aspect of bullying, but what’s next? How do people even really know when bullying is happening? The victim may be too embarrassed, especially as an adult, to report any type of bullying incidences. The feeling of not being able to stand up for yourself may rush over the victim and they may let the harsh comments slide. This will do absolutely nothing to the bully and they will continue to harass and destroy the victim’s life. Something needs to be done so that bullying can be identified even without the victim coming forward. Something like a web monitor that actually can scan every single word you ever type and see where it’s going to and who it came from. This would be a start to regulate the negativity being produced from one person to another on the endless web.
We need laws and regulations that will scare people from writing false or mean things about another person on the internet. These harsh comments and making fun of Aleksey Vayner brought him to take his own life and someone is to blame here, now we just have to find out whom.
Taking a stand against bullying in your local home towns, schools and even work places in your surrounding area can help with awareness. Luckily, a lot of people feel this way and contribute to such awareness programs, but we need more. The more people who provide the public with examples of their own personal stories of bully encounters, can help show younger generations and adults that bullying hasn’t dissolved. It’s still here and until something is done to really scare it away, cases like Aleksey Vayner are going to become more frequent and there won’t be anyone to blame if we can’t point a finger.
Written By: Samantha Kenny