When Bullying Becomes Normal

There are several scenarios where a majority of Malawians have shamelessly crossed over the line of joking over to that of bullying. Bullying of strangers, celebrities has become very normal in our society especially for social media users. Most Malawians find it normal to post or send embarrassing or negative personal or private information about other individuals without any consequences.

For most of you who are on social media, just recently, you witnessed how people were cruel towards Makhadzi even before she stepped foot in Malawi. People made fun of her looks, degraded her and other women in the name of jokes. And after she performed someone decided to use a photo which managed to stir up the intended reaction from the public. Celebrities have been constantly bullied by the media and the public.

No matter how abnormal and inappropriate it is to be obsessed with a celebrity’s personal life, or just anyone else’s it has become very normal that people get ecstatic over scandals, humiliating stories and events about individuals they hardly know. People are so invested in other people’s personal lives such that they find it normal until this day to drag old posts and pictures by Namadingo and his girlfriend’s engagement, the bullying was so hard much that he had to prove it to the public about their relationship. Onesimus, is catching a breath now after people have always been questioning his personal decisions as a married man, for instance when he will have children and if he is still together with his wife.

Private individuals are also being harassed by the public such that they will have their private chats, stories or photos leaked to the public and are mercilessly subjected to the public’s judgement and ridicule. Individuals have been called prostitutes, bad people without even trying to understand their point view or verifying if the story is true or not.

Unfortunately, some Social media pages like Mikozi, use bullying as a marketing strategy. They body shame, expose different individuals to public ridicule and entertain bullying without regard for the concerned parties. It is insane how people hide under “just joking” to say negative and hurtful comments. Unfortunately, bullies never face any consequences of bullying so they keep on bullying.

A joke is only funny when the subject of the joke is able to laugh with you”-Mr Sam Samu

You should ask yourself exactly why you get satisfaction out of causing someone pain. We need to do better as a country. Instead of thinking what hurtful words you can say to a this stranger, think of a positive thing to say and if you can’t think of any, then don’t say anything.

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