The Uncertified Professionals
There is possibly more content dedicated to combating internet hate from unprofessional sources then there is real solid academic research. Many
other content creators, however, have claimed to
have found ways to protect themselves. Though
they may be unprofessional, their methods for
coping with internet hate have helped them survive
continuous cyberbullying. Many of them have even
started to credit their haters as their drive towards
success. Of course one variable between content creators and ‘civilians’ is that most creators don’t know, or even have a face for most of the people behind the hate. The difference in situation, however, does not necessarily mean that this avenue of solutions should be ignored.
Current professionals who have researched cyberbullying have the disadvantage of not growing up in the age of cyberbullying. Though these young content creators of the internet may not be academic professors, their experience with media offers fresh perspectives that should be explored further by professional researchers.
One YouTuber, Ryan Higa, shared in one of his
videos that as someone who experienced both
physical bullying as a child at school and constant
hate from the internet audience, “Cyberbullying
is a First-World-Problem...I don’t think it’s really
bullying if you can escape it. If you are being
cyberbullied whether it be on Facebook or Twitter
you are not being backed into a corner. You have so many options.” Bullies can be unfriended or blocked. All forms of media and communication technology including messenger and text apps on phones have blocking capabilities. (How to Block people link) Higa continues, “Having social media is not something you need to live… If you are going to choose to be on social media you are going to have to learn to deal with it. If you can’t handle it then just don’t be on it. There is no shame in that.” He goes on to insist that instead of campaigns of trying to stop bullying there should be more campaigns teaching kids how to deal with bullying.
As far as attempting to fix the problem by teaching kids not to bully, Higa said he remembered that the anti-bullying assemblies at his school didn’t help his particular situation at all. He said eventually he came to the conclusion that they were only picking on him to make each other laugh. He concluded that he was the easiest target to be the butt of a joke. He made it a personal challenge to take that power away from them. Everytime Higa’s bullies did something to make fun of him he would go along with it and make their joke his. At first it may have seemed like he wasn’t “winning” the situation, but the truth was he took the fun out of it for them. So eventually the bullying stopped all together (Higa, 2014) . This method is not new and is comparable to the method applied by the character Fat Amy from the popular film “Pitch Perfect” where the heavy set character nicknames herself, “Fat Amy...so twig b*** like you can’t call me that behind my back.” (Moore & Cannon, "Pitch perfect", 2012). Though fictional this is a spot on example of a person taking complete responsibility to empowering themselves and fight off bullying before it could even start.