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Feb 2014
Cyber Bullying Poem

Let's talk about cyber bullying.
I wonder if you instantly thought,
"Oh gosh this is gonna be intense."
Well maybe, maybe not.

Some forms of bullying aren't intended to be intense.

Sometimes bullying comes from the smallest things you can do to someone.
Sometimes bullying just takes a minute to type and press send.
Sometimes bullying just takes another minute to close your web browser.
Sometimes bullying just takes a third minute to walk away fine.

Bullying is possible in just three minutes:
send a comment to anyone anywhere in the world
ruin their day.
destroy their confidence
personally insult someone you don't know personally
influence their minute, hour, day, week, month,
life, suicide.

But this poem isn't about suicide,
it isn't about life or death.
It is about those small things you say to someone on the internet,
without ever realizing
you are a cyber-bully.

This poem is about the time I met an internet troll.
Someone who says things in chat forums to elicit an elevated response.
I was in middle school, one of three Jewish kids.
I posted on a forum about video games,
and for some reason
another middle schooler on the same forum as me,
somewhere unknown in the world,
posted off topic about how the Holocaust was great for population control.

This poem is about the messages you get on your dating profile,
that just say "hello" or "hi."
Because you took the time to fill out and divulge personal information,
and the best they could come up with was a measly greeting?
26 letters, 10 numbers, and 46 other keys at your disposal,
with unlimited time
no pressure at all,
but you'll use a hell of a lot more keys when you retaliate to my angry response.

This poem is about the debates you get into on FB.
someone posts a provocative status about cultural misappropriation
or about how English should be the national language,
and you respond unable to resist,
trying to keep it professional and scholarly,
citing sources doing your thing,
until they make a personal insult,
unrelated to the debate topic,
maybe about your political orientation or religious beliefs.

This poem is about the person who you were supposed to go on a date with,
but they told you about how they once got upset at their ex,
and posted their photos on Craigslist.
******* and no thank you!

This poem is about the poems that I've posted on my blog,
that someone out there thinks are open to public criticism,
as all art should be they said.
Maybe if I was published and making money, sure?
Maybe if I actually thought your opinion was valuable?
Or maybe, just maybe, you could be a cyber bully.
Spewing your **** like the internet is your personal toilet seat.

This poem is about the minutiae,
the minutes in which someone can damage you,
because your screen on your computer has no filter,
it won't protect you from the cyber bullies,
who say small comments that make a big impact.

No happy inspirational ending,
other than that I hope they read this poem on the internet,
and maybe feel a little bullied themselves.
Andrew Parker
Written by
Andrew Parker  U.S.
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