Has cyberbullying become a norm in society? In her most recent TED talk – The Prince of Shame – Monica Lewinsky discusses her experiences with public shaming in the eyes of the media, referring to public shaming as a “blood sport”, that publicly and brutally humiliates people in seconds. Socially acceptable public shaming is not only impactful on an individual level, but also allows for the widespread belief that cyber bullying is socially tolerant. Perhaps most of the time people do not consider their words as bullying because of how normalized it has become. Monica’s media presence through popular rap songs has not only publicly humiliated her reputation, but has been continually ignored as an issue of cyberbullying.
Monica’s TED talk reminds people that cyberbullying, no matter how publicized, can have a detrimental impact on the individuals involved. It implies that people must first recognize cyberbullying as wrong in order to change the attitude of the public as a whole. Why has this type of cyberbullying been socially acceptable for so long? By asking questions like this we open the conversations that draw attention to the problem at hand and bring us one step closer to eliminating cyberbullying. It is no longer a comment, but something normal that people practice on a daily basis. Even implying negative things through the internet such as stereotypical statements can still be harmful and is absolutely considered bullying. When people start recognizing that there are real people behind the social media handles and usernames that they are directing hurtful comments to, we can begin to fight this “bloody battle”.
Monica Lewinsky chose to stick up for herself and educate people which is exactly what ETCB supports. Providing information and resources to the public, support for victims, and preemptive plans will lead to an educated public, a stronger community, and ultimately bring an end to this cyber war.