Nothing makes my blood boil more than social media trolls that are only out to bully others… while cowardly hiding behind their smart phone & computer. When Twitter trolls started commenting on a tweet baseball star, Curt Schilling, posted about his daughter, he didn’t let them hide behind their little devices and he exposed them for what they are…trolls.
Schilling recently posted a tweet congratulating his daughter, Gabby, on being accepted to a college where she will also get to play softball. He expected the usual tweets that would be slightly off-color in response to his tweet. However, once he began to see the sexually explicit tweets directed towards his daughter, he knew something had to be done. It took little effort for Schilling to find out the users’ real names, where they went to school, sports teams they were on, and where they worked. Due to their poor judgement in posting inappropriate comments, some have lost their job, been reprimanded, and most importantly, been shamed in the social media community. Legal action will also be pursued. In doing so, Schilling is making a public example of the consequences people should face when they choose to make poor choices via social media.
Schilling wrote about the incident on his official blog, www.38pitches.wordpress. Here is an excerpt:
“I thank God every day that Facebook and Twitter, instagram, vine, Youtube, all of it, did not exist when I went to High School. I can’t imagine the dumb stuff I’d have been caught saying and doing.
If you are a dad this is something you well know already, if you are a dad with a daughter this is likely to get your blood going. If you are a boy, or young man, or husband, and you haven’t experienced children yet, or haven’t had a daughter, it’s next to impossible for you to understand.
My daughter, my one and only daughter, has worked her ass off playing sports the past 9-10 years. She’s loved it, and I’ve loved being able to both watch, and coach along the way.
Last week we were told she’d been accepted to college and will begin playing softball there next year.
Clearly an incredibly proud day.
And of course, like any dad in the modern world I said so.
Now I’ve been using computers since 1981. I was a professional baseball player for 22 years. I played 10+ years in Philadelphia. I played 5 in Boston. I shared a locker room with well over a thousand teammates and I played and lived at school a year before doing so.
That’s all to say I am absolutely aware of social media and how it works. As someone who’s said about 2.34 billion things he shouldn’t have, I get it.
With that tweet I expected a response. Some congrats for sure, but absolutely the smart ass college kid and likely many of them from RS to reply. And I was not disappointed.”
As parents, if we don’t shine a light on this type of behavior and expose it for what it is, no one will. I’m telling you now that the kids that read comments about others, similar to these, are so desensitized to it that they don’t make a big deal about it. They read it and keep scrolling. Yes, they know it’s highly inappropriate, but more times than not they won’t do anything about it. When nothing is done about it, it will continue to happen. When it continues to happen, then that opens the door for depression and could even lead to suicide. Is that what we want for our kids because society doesn’t feel it’s fair to call out these creeps?
“What these kids are failing to realize, what this generation fails to realize is this; Everything they’ve just said and done? That is out there now, forever. It can, and in some cases will, follow them for the rest of their lives.” -Curt Schilling
Talk to your kids about the dangers of trolls and encourage them to address harsh comments they see on social media. My teen and I heard a story on the news this week about another situation where a coach took away a scholarship from a student for inappropriate social media behavior. My teen feels that sort of consequence is extreme. I get the feeling that there is a general mindset with this generation that what you post is your business and others should not have a right to do anything about it. The majority of kids feel parents shouldn’t have a right to look on Twitter and other accounts, and if they do they are snooping around. My mantra: if you post it to the world, then you just made it my business. If you lock it up with a key, then it’s not my business. Simple.
“You want to know the scariest part? Some of their idiot friends, as I am sure some of you, are contacting me with “Dude lighten up, they’re just joking” and “Why are you saying things that might ruin someone’s life”?” -Curt Schilling
Is this what our society is becoming? These type of folks are going to be running this world when we are too old to do it ourselves. Scary.