Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter

Like many of you I have a love/hate relationship with Facebook.  Whilst, I think that it has certain advantages for keeping in touch with family & friends located in faraway places and as a writer it does have obvious benefits but for many it’s a bit of a dual-edged sword. Too often I have come across inappropriate posts and videos which in my opinion have no place on a social networking site. It is alleged that this week Facebook have failed to remove a video of a helpless & vulnerable kitten being deliberately doused in fuel and set alight; what purpose does that video serve? I also fail to see why you would want to give the sociopaths that committed this heinous and cowardly act their fifteen minutes of fame. Furthermore, you have to ask yourself why certain Facebookers would feel the need to “like” this type of post. Whilst Facebook insist that they had reviewed the clip, which they insisted had met its guidelines, by simply doing nothing are they green lighting other evil-minded individuals?

Surely there has to be a more stringent policy where pictures of extreme cruelty are removed in a timely fashion and by timely, I mean immediately. Derogatory pictures and borderline slanderous statements that will obviously cause emotional distress to others also have no place. I have personally fallen foul of an anonymous user, who superimposed my head from my profile picture, along with several other girls onto the bodies of girls in stills from adult films accompanied by crass taglines and my complaint wasn’t upheld, subsequently, Facebook refused to remove them. Imagine the distress that this caused me and my family and likewise for all the other girls. It is inconceivable that some malicious individual could randomly target your profile picture in this way because they are not regulated. It begs the question that if any of us had been celebrities would Facebook fearing legal reprisals have taken a different stance or were we simply not important enough to merit their protection from internet trolls.

You don’t have to be a public relations expert to determine what is right and wrong most of us learn that as children but one wonders sometimes whether integrity is an out-dated principle for many multi-million organisations.  So if you’re listening Facebook you need to man up and grow a set along with some morals; your users will love you for it!

The world is a dangerous place to live. Not because of the people who are evil; but because of the people who don’t do anything about it.

Your Words Have Power, Use Them Wisely

No doubt you have all seen in the press recently another beautiful young person has taken her life as a result of bullying cowardly internet trolls.  It saddens me that with the amazing technology that we now have access to in our homes and at our finger tips, there are those cowardly souls that would abuse this medium, hiding behind their anonymity to slander and disparage more vulnerable individuals.

We have all been members of social media groups where particular discussion threads have descended quickly into public slanging matches where accusations are made and vitriolic statements written.  I have left many a group appalled that so-called intelligent and fortunate people have found it necessary to take advantage of these opportunities to denigrate others with insults becoming unnecessarily offensive.

This week was no exception, whilst taking part in a Twitter event an individual took this opportunity to air some personal grievances with another.  Whilst it was obvious that these two shared some sort of history, it was in my opinion not the right platform for these allegations and whilst I don’t know the circumstances which caused this rift, I do think there’s a lot to be said for not washing your dirty linen in public.  As the afternoon wore on, the tweets got more distasteful and more malicious so I just couldn’t help myself when I tweeted that pulling someone else down wouldn’t help you reach the top quickly followed by good manners will open doors that the best education cannot.

Predictably, the tweeter then turned his or her attention to me by tweeting something along the lines of “desperate uninformed writers don’t get my tweets”.  Well I guess that would be me but also I daresay most of today’s bestselling authors before they became published; so I was in good company.  Well buddy, if that’s the best insult that you can hurl at me, “Game On” because I am my Father’s daughter not some impressionable teenager and I have been taught the importance of right from wrong since I could walk along with respect for myself and others.  Whilst I don’t actively seek out confrontation, I will not run from it and neither will I indulge others that thrive on conflict and will endeavour to cause a fight in an empty room.

I can’t help but wonder if there had been just one compassionate voice in the darkness for one of those desperate bullied teenagers, maybe just maybe it might have made a difference.

 The world is a dangerous place not because of the evil that men do but because of those that look on and do nothing       Albert Enstein

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Courage Is Fire & Bullying Is Smoke

Dear Tormentor

I am writing to you because I want you to know how wretched and hopeless you make me feel.  No doubt I will never have the courage to say this to you but simply by writing this, I have taken my first step along the self-respect road.

I doubt that you will dread returning to work tomorrow as I do; after all there is no tyrant waiting to criticize and harangue you.  It is unlikely that you will have had another sleepless night ahead of what you know will be another  distressing day filled with humiliation and anxiety.

I can’t help but wonder if you were taught the importance of common courtesy and civility as a child or perhaps they were lessons that passed you by.  Were kindness, patience and integrity sacrificed in exchange for your ruthless ambition?

Deep down I know that you are an intensely unhappy human being and for some unknown reason, you have this need to belittle me; simply because you can.  Clearly you believe that good supervision necessitates public degradation and I wonder if you congratulate yourself on your particular style of management.  You have so much to celebrate in your life and yet you are a bitter and arrogant individual with little or no thought for others.  Your dissatisfaction with your life and achievements is apparent and yet like most bullies you seek to apportion blame for failing to realise your dreams on those you deem insignificant.

At the end of the day, I realise that I’m just another unimportant irritant in your very busy world, but you need to know that when I return home tonight, I know that to at least one person I am the world.  Now tell me when you look in the mirror what do you see?

Most comedy is based on getting a laugh at somebody else’s expense. And I find that that’s just a form of bullying in a major way. So I want to be an example that you can be funny and be kind, and make people laugh without hurting somebody else’s feelings.

Ellen DeGeneres

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