Usually my Friday blog post is a time where I can unwind with a cup of tea and crank out a little inspiration for the working folk. Today will be different. This afternoon Skittles posted about a photo to their Facebook page of a young girl who received a Skittles covered jewelry box for her 16th birthday. Immediately the comments started to pour in, cyber bullying at its finest. Did you know that 1 in 6 teens are subject to this? Recognizing that it’s a growing problem is not enough, what are you doing about it? Honestly, what astounded me the most about the seemingly growing number of hateful comments is that most of them are coming from adults. Not only that, but several people mention that because she is overweight the comments are “purely inevitable.” Why? Are we now protecting the content we portray because we know how big of an issue bullying is? According to Consumer Reports, one million children were harassed, threatend or subjected to other forms of cyberbullying on Facebook during the past year. One million.
All I ask is that you put this into perspective, bullying is bullying. Whether it’s about weight, social status, sexual orientation, religion, the color of your skin…it is all wrong. Every single person who has commented on the Skittles thread has a family, a best friend, a sibling. I’m sure they would do anything to protect them, but why does that stop at only the people we know? Do I as a human being not owe the same kindness to the person I stand next to in line at Starbucks every morning? The man next to me at the gym? The young girl who won a jewelry box for her birthday? I personally think of my two young siblings, it gives me chills to think that they could someday be subject to the hate poured out daily online with the click of a mouse. J.K. Rowling once said, “It is our choices…that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.” Start with today. CHOOSE to be better. CHOOSE to stand up for someone you don’t know. Roughly 22 Million people “Like” the Skittles Facebook page, but more importantly how many of them will speak up?