Maybe you have seen these posts on your Facebook news feed.
Some might find these posts amusing, with names of friends they would immediately like to tag in the comment section of the post, however, if you look at the bigger picture, you would notice how these posts fall into a form of cyber-bullying.
According to Cyberbullying Research Center, cyber-bullying is defined as “willfull and repeated harm inflicted through the use of computers, cell phones, and other electronic devices.”
It is the act of inflicting physical or emotional harm to a person’s dignity through the use of social media or technology. It can be done by sending insulting messages to someone, posting offensive photos to degrade one’s personality, sending threats or messages that can cause fear to the recipient, hacking electronic accounts and any other actions that will result in humiliating an individual.
With the kind of posts mentioned above, it is clear how people make fun and ridicule the appearance of the people in the photos. They are not the ones who tend to be appealing to most people. They don’t have the perfect body weight, beautiful and glowing skin, great physical features and fashionable style; but it doesn’t mean that netizens can just share these photos and laugh at how these people look. It is actually a form of body shaming.
The act of sharing and tagging their friends in these photos is actually putting the person in an ‘embarrassing’ situation. There is also a possibility that these photos are publicized without the person’s consent, making it an act of bashing.
People who join the bandwagon kept on sharing these posts, without even thinking the consequences of their actions. A post meant to make fun of others can actually cause trauma and fear.
It’s absurd how other people treat this action as a joke.
How can laughing at someone’s physical appearance considered as a past time?
Technology is meant to improve people’s lives and not a tool to disconnect one relationship from another. It should not be used as a medium to laugh at the imperfections of other people. These posts are not just images of people who are not seen as beautiful. Moreover, there are stories behind how people portray themselves in the posts. At the end of the day, whatever people look like, it all boils down to the fact that we are all human beings.
Just because a lot of people do it doesn’t mean the action is right. You have to be rational enough to realize the direct and indirect effects of your actions. Think about how others will feel about a certain post. Yes, it may be funny; but do not forget its long term effect to people, especially to the person in the post.
You might find these memes hilarious but would the persons in the photos feel the same? (Anna Felicia Bajo)