I attended an inner city high school, or whatever the dulled equivalent of that would be in the clipped tongue of today's paranoid lexicon. There was ethnic diversity. There were social imbalances. A caste system existed that even the faculty perpetuated to some degree. I was thrown into the Honors classes and took Advanced Placement courses that did little to ready me for college. Rather, the latter made me believe that I was a semester ahead by entering with fifteen credits already under my belt. The truth of the matter is that I was surrounded by nerds. Even in that melting pot of culture where the foreign language hallway was more of an arena, I was safe from diversity in the insulated fishbowl where leaders of tomorrow allegedly honed their skills. College was no different. My dorm was in the newly renovated hall set aside for brainiacs. Again, I somehow managed to weasel my way in like a fox among the flock. "Tattoo Mike", they called me, since by that point I had two: a snowflake and Bugs bunny. Can you imagine what type of ball-less wonders would give a kid with lame images like those adorning his arms that undeserved nickname? I was the hard-ass of the pansies. I was the king of the losers. I was a lot of things until I tried unofficially switching my major to Jack Daniel's and had my independent study program vehemently rejected. I became a lot more things, one of them a pipefitter. Then the Internet came along and gave us all the level playing field that we'd been lied to about already having in school: social networking.
It started with MySpace, but we don't need to go there. That'd be like mentioning the handsy uncle who's groped us all once or twice during holiday party photo opportunities. Facebook is the way of the world. Twitter, Instagram, and whatever other timesinks we choose to indulge in also contribute to the creation of alter egos that swing from rays of Wi-Fi. No longer must we limit our interactions to those that'd transpire organically through the doldrums of our beaten paths. We encounter individuals from all walks of life--from the neck-bearded virgin on a computer that could hack the Pentagon to the yayo-slinging thug who spies on his shorty's latest activities via smartphone--and are forced to make a choice reminiscent of an Alcoholics Anonymous poster I've never seen in person: Adapt or die. That's what it boils down to since we are held accountable for everything we portray ourselves to be online; even the things we approve of through clicking the Like button. There's a great equalizer which holds us all in check. One should not risk acting the fool in the presence of strangers from other walks of life; or one does, and draws the wrath of the modern-day version of the Old West vigilante: the Cyberbully.
The Cyberbully is a direct product of evolution. If cyberbullying didn't exist then Al Gore would invent cyberbullying, possibly in a room full of monkeys manning typewriters. Our sore-assed society which spews new buzzwords like Oppositional Defiant Disorder every-other-month to define a circumstance which is perfectly normal has coined the word and cast it in a negative light. I don't view it that way, however. Cyberbullying plays a vital role in policing cyberspace and assuring that order is maintained. From an IRL ("in real life", for those unaware) standpoint, the benefits are even more critical. We live in an age where adults fear their children and the forest is ignored for the trees. Too often the coddled individual who should be smacked is glorified instead. The battlefield is red with the blood of truthful speakers, martyred by the media at the hands of left-wing executioners.
That is where the cyberbully (who now assumes a lower-case status for the sake of simplicity) comes into play. The war waged on the Internet (still capitalized) is not under scrutiny by the dogmatic groups and agencies that govern our everyday lives. A grammar Nazi will correct your ignorance of your own language now and then, but other than that it's a free-for-all. If you run your mouth--nay, flutter your fingers--in a manner that's unbecoming then you'd better be ready to incur the vengeance of the nearest cyberbully. He is armed with scathing wit, credible links, and array of memes that may or may not be culled from scenes from the original (and only, arguably) "Willy Wonka" film. He probably didn't get laid last night and you're definitely going to pay for that. You'll be bashed with words that you can't use in your cubical, like "butthurt" and "douchelord", and groaning about it will only make matters worse. His sharpened tongue will belittle you to the point of considering FB suicide, but that could never happen since one does not simply pull the plug on the Matrix. There you'll sit, spanked and humiliated by someone who may be a total stranger, with only the safety of distance and invisibilty to aid you. The monitor's a shield. The keyboard is a sword. And the kids you picked on in high school who didn't manage to become members of law enforcement are now going to sacrifice you to the gods of bandwidth if you rock the boat too hard. Deal with it, and be grateful for the last stronghold of political incorrectness in this pussified America that'd make her forefathers weep.
Now excuse me while I go rattle my canary cage and rub one out to those leaked Jennifer Lawrence pics...