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Madison Stribling

Professor Jon Beadle

English 115

7 December 2017

The Creature of the Twitterverse

At least once a day I, and many others, take out our phones and tap the universal twitter

symbol on our screens. With my activity on social media I have experienced the monstrous

elements this output is filled with. The site has little restrictions on what can't be said. Luckily, I

have a strong enough mindset to ignore the verbal attacks I have received, but others aren't so

lucky. Social media, specifically Twitter, connects you to millions of people around the world,

but can also be a beacon to cyber bullying, an issue that has impacted many people's lives. With

such an alarming history of those affected by cyberbullying, catfishing, and trolling, fear of

being attacked is rising within kids and adults. With the fear of the unknown, our quest for

freedom and liberty is being threatened.

Twitter has become such a global form for communicating in young adulthood; you can

share ideas and state opinions. At the same time, you can also communicate in ways such as

cyberbullying and trolling. The space within Twitter is endless due to the lack of censorship on

what can be written. Humankind currently poses the biggest threat on this planet, having the

capability to use their power for bad. Since the rise of social media, humans themselves have

turned into monsters. According to the Cyberbullying Research Center survey, around 34% of

students experience cyberbullying in their lifetime, while 15% admit to committing cyber

bullying themselves. (Cyberbullying and Social Media). In 2015, the survey documents that
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almost half of the students in the Midwestern US middle schools have experienced bullying

online, not including the millions of more students from around the world. Ultimately with such

a high rates of victims, it opens the door for the victims to feel justified with their

malevolence-filled retorts. Cyberbullying has increased over the years and has turned on that

little venomous voice in our heads begging for vengeance.

Social media poses a great threat to the healthy growth of young adults, ultimately

bringing awareness to the dangers through popular films and TV shows. Media is like a virtual

reality that coincides with our reality. We have to be a part of both to understand whats

happening in our world. Many fear that they will be consumed and eaten alive in the virtual

reality due to the monsters that haunt those parts. In My Zombie, Myself: Why Modern Life

Feels Rather Undead, Chuck Klosterman makes parallels between the AMC show The Walking

dead and the internet. Zombies are like the internet and the media and every conversation it

comes at us endlessly (and thoughtlessly), and- if we surrender- we will be overtaken and

absorbed. (42). Social Media is a hard realm to stay alive in, but needed to connect with the

world. Information is continuously shot out at us. People, such as trolls, disregard how you

would feel when they thoughtlessly cyberbully you. However, it's a problem we have to fight off

if you wish to stay alive in the virtual reality. If you disconnect, you disconnect from the world.

The monstrosity of this concept is that you're stuck in living hell. You have to push through

attacks if you wish to be productive in society. The internet is our future. We hold such a high

value on what online communication can do in a positive aspect, yet people fear the cons. The

belief that the internet is safe is changing. Already laws have been enforced to try and protect

citizens from the monsters online. In 2010 Catfish, a documentary about a young man by the
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name of Nev, builds a relationship with a woman from Facebook, then finds out the women who

he was talking to had a different identity. This sparked Catfish, the tv show, back in 2012 which

is still airing new episodes today. Overall, the films created a new sense of understanding about

the unknown realm of the internet. Through instant messaging on twitter, you could be talking to

a teacher named Jessica, age 26 height 52, who attended Saint Mary's College, graduated with a

3.6 GPA, and is currently living in Walnut Creek, California. You could have nightly voice calls

or FaceTime calls. You could talk to Jessica's best friend Mackenzie, another Saint Mary's grad

who majored in communications and is currently Jessica's roommate. You could also be talking

to a 36-year-old man who works for an online company and catfishes gullible victims. Internet

trolls are all around and waiting to pounce.

The prospect of being a target to one of these crimes isn't so scarce. I've experienced

cyberbullying, I know people who have been catfished, and have seen trolls in battle online. All

of these elements have the force to leave a victim wounded. In my middle school era when I

started to experience with social media, I thought it was a good idea to get a Facebook. With the

sneaky mindset of an 11-year-old, I also thought it was a good idea to not tell my mom. Back in

2011 when this took place, the rise of social media became more popular. Having older brothers

who too were experimenting with public websites, I learned about all the ins and outs on how

to create a Facebook page. Change your name, never put your middle name, write down a false

birthday, and answer your security questions in ways you wouldnt normally. I started adding

friends who I knew personally from my school, and instead of emailing each other, now we

could instant message through Facebook. This page helped me connect to those who I knew in

my community, but It wasnt long before creatures started to crawl through the cracks. After
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changing my profile picture from a hollowed out human logo to an actual picture of me, a

stranger commented on my post accusing me of having a big nose. Luckily, one of my big

brothers friends nicely replied back to this stranger in my defense. However, my first run in with

cyberbullying has still stuck with me to this day. For an 11-year-old, being told theres

something wrong with you can start confidence issues. Humans have the power to enforce bad

and have the power to feel emotion. This is where morals come into play. Self-doubt in our

younger generation has become more public, causing others to question themselves, and ending

with serious consequences.

A result of virtual bullying can lead to physical pain, such as suicide. Social media is not

a commodity that will disperse soon, since its technological advantages are too fundamental in

our growing society, leaving people in perplexing situations. Past and current United States

Presidents of the twenty-first century have used Twitter as a means to share and connect to

citizens viewpoints. The humorous and opinionated side of Donald Trump's tweets draws

people in, adding up to create his 39.2 Million followers. (@realDonaldTrump). While some

people look at his tweets as a legitimate source of news, others refuse to delete twitter due to the

entertainment it encapsulates. However, while others use twitter as a resource, some have

blocked twitter from their social life as a whole, as a means to cleanse their minds. On August

18, 2017 Taylor Swift deleted her social media. (Fans Are Freaking Out About Taylor Swifts

Blank Social Media Accounts). Swift has hinted in interviews that social media has destroyed

how she looks upon herself. Twenty years ago, the idea of having a virtual conversation with

someone across the Atlantic Ocean seemed incomprehensible. Today, hate mail, an offspring of

fan mail, has become frequent for celebrities in the twitterverse. With having such negative
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reviews about oneself, it isn't long before you start to corrupt the way you see yourself. Often the

people who write the hate mail are the younger generations who arent aware of the harm they

can cause upon someone else. These monsters are being breed at a young age. The eyes through

a computer screen lacks empathy. While some people see how social media can add to society,

history has proven that too much of the youth either cyberbullies, or has been cyberbullied.

Statistics of suicide caused by online bullying is increasing, causing an uproar. Parents, teachers,

and politicians are starting to question at what age should humankind be exposed to social media.

The twitterverse can be both a joyous and terrifying domain, one that's hard to keep up in.

The youth are being raised on screens logged in on Twitter, without the slightest idea of how to

control their shuttle flying through this realm. The almost unstoppable trend of cyberbullying has

been on an incline for years, and won't slow down just for you. Catfishing has become common

enough that a TV series continues to air new episodes. The appeal of little supervision has

attracted to mischievous people, but have also left people running for the hills. Next time you

click that sign in button, be cautious of all the monsters around you.
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Works Cited

Ariel Schulam, Henry Joost, director. Catfish. Relativity Media. 2010.

Chuck Klosterman. Andrew J. Hoffman, Monsters. Bedford/St. Martins, 2016.

Donald Trump. Twitter, 23. September 2017, 4:17 a.m., https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump

Megan Meier Foundation. Cyberbullying and Social Media. MeganMeierFoundation.org.

Michael Selditch, director. Catfish: The TV Show. MTV, 2012.

Tatiana Cirisano. Fans are Freaking Out Over Taylor Swift's Blank Social Media Accounts.
Buzzfeed, 18 August 2017, http://www.billboard.com