Six Degrees of Separation: A Sad Song

It’s such a small world in so many ways.

My girlfriend’s sister lived on the same street as my aunt. Now her kids go to the same school as my godson. One of my godson’s best friends is my other girlfriend’s son.

I sang karaoke with a dude who went to high school with my friend…and was married to a girl who’s best friend married another one of my friends.

I run into people I haven’t seen since high school or college on the train or at a restaurant.

We’re only as far away from one another as we are distanced by Facebook friends. Which often isn’t very far.

We find out where someone went to school, grew up, lives, works. Our first question is often, “Do you know ________?”

We seek out these connections. And we’re all surrounded by them. Six degrees of separation. Who needs Kevin Bacon when our world is this small?
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And then there’s you. Impossible. Unreachable. You.

With the hundreds of connections I have on Facebook. The social media sites I’m active on, galore. The fact that you live no more than 20 miles from me (and that’s generous). But you’re invisible.

I realize I’m of another generation. But not by much. Most people of your world must have flocked to Facebook.

I say that, assuming you have people. Do you? Have people, I mean? Of course, I know you’re married. And I know you have a child (I think two). The internet is a beautiful thing. But do you have people? Friends? Family? Co-workers? People who beg you to be more active on Facebook?

Are you happy?

Have you made a life that makes up for what’s missing? For what you left behind?

Did you forget about us? Me? Your little sister who went and grew up without you. Who never forgot you. Who thinks about you more that she probably should. Who remembers every joke. Every story. Every song. With every fiber of my being.

Does it matter?

Blog friends, are you thinking about someone in your life that you haven’t seen in years? Do you have weird family stuff? Do you have an “six degrees of separation” stories? Tell me your story.

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

“She Can’t be an Adult,” “She’s Disgusting,” and Other Words I Can’t Forget

“I have never met this person, and I already hate her on a deeply personal level.”

“We dont want to see how much her ugly face doesnt care in yet another blog post. Youll give me nightmares”

” She is an awful person.”

“the financial and aesthetic disadvantages she faces that don’t impede others.”

“Uggg she’s disgusting.”

“she is just a run of the mill average jane nobody dumbfuck”

“She is the very definition of delusional.”

“Is she an adult? She can’t be.”

“I don’t know that woman, but reading one single page of her blog makes me hate her.”

“holy fuck she looks like a mess”

It’s almost been a year since my 5 minutes of “infamy” on Reddit. Someone decided that my blog wasn’t worthy of a copyright notice, and decided to plaster my blog on Reddit Delusional Artists. And a few other places (those just didn’t get the traction he was looking for). I responded the best way I knew how, with a big fat fuck you. And they came back in droves to find new ways to hurt me. Regardless of what those people thought was fun and games, what they were doing was bullying.

CYBER BULLYING ON REDDIT

And yes, I tried to make light of it. Because that’s what I do. I had fun responding. But that doesn’t mean that I didn’t cry for the better part of a week. That doesn’t mean their words aren’t still haunting me. That doesn’t mean Brian didn’t want to hunt them down and destroy them for making me cry. I was bullied when I was a little girl. It sucks. I escaped relatively unscathed, albeit completely socially awkward (probably one of the reasons I didn’t want to talk about my period, MOM). And as an adult, they say we’re supposed to be able to push through it, but that’s a dirty rotten lie people who’ve never been bullied tell you.

Because bullying hurts.

It stings. It burns to the core of your inner confidence, taking away everything you think and feel and replacing it with vitriol. Throwing gas into that inner flame of self-doubt.

And that sucks.

I’m lucky to have the real life and digital support that I do, as I was able to get through the bullying relatively unscathed. But that isn’t always the case.

Cyber bullies can destroy people. And they do it behind screen names and anonymous posts. Words hurt, people. Bruises heal. Words haunt you forever. I know those insults above are long forgotten by the people that wrote them, but they’re ingrained in my memory forever.

9 months after my Reddit bubble, I’m still getting the occasional hit ftom the Delusional Artists thread. A thread that exists to bully people (despite its context to only comment on people who are “delusional artists”). Each time I see a referral from Reddit, I’m reminded of the things they said. Just in case, for even a moment, I has forgotten.

One of the bright spots of the whole mess was reading responses from the few people who stood up for me. Maybe not the ones who laced it with an insult, but the ones who genuinely said, “hey, this is wrong.”

Nice people on reddit 2

Nice people on Reddit

So the next time you see someone talking shit online about someone else? Leave a comment or send them a message offering your support. You’d be surprised how much you can help.

Have you ever been cyber bullied? Bullied in real life? Have you ever been a bully? Or stopped one?

1000Voices

I’m writing today for #1000Speak with the mission to build from bullying. This is my story. What’s yours?

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!