Bullying took to a whole new level with the presence of social media. Smartphones and media revolutionized bullying and created a new era. Nate Webb spoke about the issues surrounding bullying. Inspired to become a school counselor based on his experiences as a kid, now he works to prevent bullying in schools.
He spoke about the phrase, “go kill yourself” and how students are using it on social media without always knowing the social implications and the seriousness surrounding it. Webb talks about how it’s easier to bully online than it is in person because people don’t see the reactions of the person they are hurting.
Webb said that one thing that changed his perspective when he was being bullied as a kid was a phrase his dad said. “Do you know who you are?” his dad would ask. Webb realized that he was allowing the most insecure people in his life to dictate his happiness, and instead he had to dictate his own and recognize his self worth.
Social media has changed the game of bullying. When bullying was solely physical, home could be an escape for kids where they could be filled with love and compassion before going back out the next day. Now, however, in the age of social media, there is no safe space. Social media allows for bullies to reach kids at home where they should feel safe, only furthering the impacts of bullying and the severity of hate.
The best way to keep kids from being bullied online is to not allow them to have social media. Kids do not need to have access to these hostile environments. Bullies, he said, are not born but bread. They model their behavior after role models in their life whether intentional or not.