The internet can be a fun, wonderful place full of knowledge and entertainment. But at the same time, the web is also a place of toxic, hateful behavior.
In the latest episode of Connecting The Dots (which I also call Degrassi Talks: The Next Generation), Adamo sat down with a group of teens to discuss the culture of online bullying.
The funny thing is that these youth only scratched the surface of online bullying. They discussed the habit of people trolling others anonymously, and how those hurtful words can stick with you.
However, with the digital age now an extension of our being, people have grown to have no shame in publicly attacking others on the web. You see it on Facebook; people’s full names and faces right there for the world to see, yet they’ll hurl insults and act foolishly without hesitation. You see it when public figures post anything; there’s always some kind of hateful slur thrown their way for no real reason.
And despite the show literally addressing the issue, you’ll see Degrassi’s own fans bullying each other for one pointless reason or another. The nature of “fandom” as a social group means it’ll always be inherently problematic to an extent, but it still doesn’t make watching fans shit on fellow fans any less disheartening. Degrassi’s characters are specifically written to engage in problematic behavior; when Degrassi fans do so, it’s by choice.
You can tell a lot about a person’s character based on how they treat others on the internet, a place where people believe no one’s watching or that there’s no consequences to their actions (and often times there aren’t). The young women in this episode offer the same tales of online bullying that have existed for ages. People their age will still continue to bully others. Grown-ass adults will also keep doing it, because acting like an immature idiot knows no age. There is no permanent “cure” for dealing with trolls beyond establishing that you, and you alone, are in complete control of determining your value in this life.