Sticks, Stones, and Other Vices
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Student Life

Sticks, Stones, and Other Vices

But your words will never hurt me.

20
Sticks, Stones, and Other Vices
Laura Countiss


It was a particularly dreadful, sleepless evening when I had experienced inhumanity in its most abashing form. As I mindlessly scrolled through twitter, a common nightly routine, a picture caught my eye. I drew in the deepest breath my lungs could take, and clinched my eyes shut as I laid alone in my bed. As the tears begun to roll down my face after analyzing what was a picture of me in middle school, a time of innocence, oblivion, and without makeup, next to the words: “yikes”, I experienced firsthand the outcomes of cyber bullying.

Given the picture was quite embarrassing, it served as symbol of my growth as a girl, or in this case, as a woman. The picture was posted in the intent to draw attention of analyzing my flaws, most of which I didn’t even know were flaws at the time. I was unaware of what to be insecure over; all that I saw was old and young, short and tall, fat and skinny. I was clueless to the fact that at seventeen years old I would be criticized for my appearance. A reply to the tweet read “she is still ugly to this day”. Cue more tears.

I have been lectured in school over the malice that is cyberbullying a word that held no meaning to me because, well, I had not been affected by it. I have felt the pain of walking into a room to hearing a halt in conversation because they were making fun of you, I have felt the gut wrenching stares as I walk by, and I have even directly been told to my face every one of my flaws. However, this time it was entirely different. Seeing the words on a phone screen with no voice or facial expression to back the personal jab up cut deeper. Seeing the likes, the replies, the retweets, cut the deepest. “Are those people agreeing with the fact that I am ugly?”

The feeling of discomfort from this very tweet only hurt for a few moments. Luckily, I have some incredible friends whom were quick to text me and to comfort me by reassuring me with kind words. I am not an insecure person, I see my reflection in the mirror every day and have accepted myself for who I am. I see more than just a bare faced middle school girl looking back at me, I see a strong woman who has faced her demons in the flesh, conquered them, and learned to love herself along the way. But who’s to say that everybody can feel this way? What if this situation were to happen to another girl who didn’t have the strength to turn her phone off, go to sleep, and look past it? That is what is wrong with my generation; through a phone screen and a click of a few buttons we can inflict pain onto others. Through its simplicity and what seems to be blamelessness we can pick our fights, and settle them.

I am writing this not to give another tired lecture on how we should encourage each other through social media or that we all have to like each other and get along. I am writing this to inform you that I stand here today for the most part unaffected. In less than twenty four hours I recovered from the hateful comments, to be able to find my voice again, a voice that will not tolerate anyone to rain on my parade. So, sticks and stones may break my bones, but I can promise you that your words will never hurt me.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

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