If you wouldn’t say something in person, why write it online?
That’s the message behind this new powerful video from ESPN that features two female sportswriters (one of them being my former espnW teammate). I will warn you: these comments are not easy to watch. So just imagine how they must feel to receive.
These hateful remarks might seem out of left field, but in reality, they’re not that uncommon. Over half (52 percent) off young people report being cyberbullied. Millions of teenagers have regularly experienced what these sportswriters go through since the dawn of social media. Even Google searches of the term “cyberbullying” began soon after Facebook launched to the broader public in 2005.
So, what’s next?
Teachers and Parents: Share this video with your students and children. Show them that while messages seem to disappear when our devices shut down, their impact on others remains.
Students: If you’re on the receiving end of a hateful message, tweet or Instagram comment, know that you are not alone. First, take a breath. Second, screenshot the post. Then report it. Don’t get caught up fighting fire with fire (posting a mean jab in retaliation).
Your mind only has so much precious real estate. Don’t waste any space on folks who take jabs and hide behind their phones. Period. Have the strength and courage to rise above digital drama and expose it, just like these sportswriters do.