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Food for Thought > Insensitive or Too sensitive? That is the question.

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message 1: by Paganalexandria (last edited Nov 25, 2013 06:52AM) (new)

Paganalexandria  | 354 comments Okay, I've been floating around the interwebs today and amazingly enough found myself annoyed. I am so sick of seeing grown people complaining about themselves being bullied (for the record, this is not author or reader related). This is a real issue affecting millions of children and teenagers, and when the term is used to describe petty BS constantly, it loses it's power. I am not saying that adults aren't abused, just catalogue it correctly as harassment, abuse, stalking, or anything else. Whenever I see an adult complain about themselves being currently bullied, my empathy shuts down, and my side eye turns on. Especially, on the internet it loosely translates into "rudely disagreed with my opinion". Is this just me being insensitive or has the bullying buzzword gone amuck?

message 2: by Danielle The Book Huntress (Wants to Read More), Loves 'Em Lethal (last edited Nov 27, 2013 04:44PM) (new)

 Danielle The Book Huntress (Wants to Read More) (gatadelafuente) | 9700 comments Mod
I understand your point, but I do think there is a good amount of cliquishness and subtle bullying on the internet. Abuse might be too strong a word for most of it though. Yes, the internet is more voluntary and you can withdraw from those kinds in environments, but they do exist, especially if they aren't moderated to foster a welcoming and respectful environment when people are aware that expressing their opinion does come with a mandate to treat others with respect.

message 3: by Jonetta (new)

Jonetta (ejaygirl) I was just reading Dear Author and the topic of bullying is discussed, including a definition. This might be helpful to this discussion.

"In a recent New York Times op-ed piece, “Defining Bullying Down,” Emily Bazelon notes that

The word is being overused — expanding, accordionlike, to encompass both appalling violence or harassment and a few mean words…

Bullying is a particular form of harmful aggression, linked to real psychological damage, both short and long term. . . .

The definition of bullying adopted by psychologists is physical or verbal abuse, repeated over time, and involving a power imbalance. In other words, it’s about one person with more social status lording it over another person, over and over again, to make him miserable.

She talks about the way in which the ubiquitous use of the term “bullying” has actually made it much more difficult to discern and deal with actual cases of bullying, and offers this distinction:

One way to better identify real bullying is to listen to how teenagers themselves describe their interpersonal conflicts. Most teenagers can identify bullying, but they can also distinguish it from what they often call “drama,” which, the researchers Danah Boyd and Alice Marwick have shown, is an accurate and common name for the ordinary skirmishes that mark most children’s lives. In fact, it’s drama that’s common, and bullying, properly defined, that’s less so.

Paganalexandria  | 354 comments Jonetta wrote: "I was just reading Dear Author and the topic of bullying is discussed, including a definition. This might be helpful to this discussion.

"In a recent New York Times op-ed piece, “Defining Bullyin..."

Danielle I totally get your point, but Jonetta's article mentioned my keyword: teenager. A lot of the time the adults use the accusations of supposed bullying as a way to police tone. I was bullied as a kid, and it doesn't compare to a poster below me saying my comment wasn dumb. I strangely credit those experiences for learning how little the opinions of people unimportant to me matter. I totally understand and empathize withb young people who haven't developed armor. When an a forty year old Real Housewife, celebrity, or borderline internet troll complains about it, my first thought is , "Seriously? " Kids are killing themselves over this issue and your coopting because you weren't included in a roleplaying group. Please just stop. And my insensitivity comes into play because if you're serious and grown, the term weaksauce comes to mind.

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