I recently watched Monica Lewinsky’s Ted Talk called The Price of Shame. She spoke of her experience with online humiliation and shame based on her own experiences. I won’t rehash the situation – if you’re unfamiliar with it you can look it up if interested.
She spoke of how the Internet has helped to fuel a culture of shame in our society. We as the consumer feed into this industry every time we search a headline or participate in mean spirited comments.
One thing we need to realise is that we now live in a cyber world. Anything we do or say can end up online by ourselves or others. Once it’s online it takes on a life of its own and lives on forever.
Now new terms have been created to address the shaming activities that are now taking place such as:
Troll – to make a deliberately offensive or provocative online posting with the aim of upsetting someone or eliciting an angry response from them.
Cyber Bully – the use of cell phones, instant messaging, e-mail, chat rooms or social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter to harass, threaten or intimidate someone.
The Internet allows people to remain faceless and nameless and to contribute in the hateful shaming of others. We all make mistakes, none among us are perfect; we have no right to judge one another. Let’s show some compassion. Let’s do our part to mitigate online shaming by speaking up against it. For every post a troll puts out there shaming someone let us voice some support and positivity for the person they are shaming.
What is the price of this trolling, cyber bullying behaviour? People taking their lives. Monica Lewinsky mentioned she felt suicidal during that time. There was a case of a student at Rutgers University. His roommate tried to shame him by videotaping an intimate encounter he had with his partner and posted it online. This public act of shaming resulted in this student taking his own life. Let’s no longer stand idly by and do or say nothing when this abhorrent behaviour takes place.
To watch Monica Lewinsky’s Ted Talk click below