This one's a big one for me, for the obvious reasons we're going to spend about twenty pages on, but also because it seems like such a logical fallacy. I think cyberbullying was invented mostly by moms. I mean, it's obviously a thing, but it's not a thing in a vacuum. A kid whose life is hell would be going through hell regardless of the Internet. So you take the victim mentality of a bullied kid's mother and you add the Internet superstition of everybody over thirty and yes, it can seem like this huge monster that Boomers never had to deal with.
But to me, cyberbullying is a great model for all bullying, in that your response is completely your choice: It's as real as the boogeyman, which can be pretty fucking real. But asking people gently to stop cyberbullying is like asking them to recycle, or asking them to find obesity attractive suddenly, or asking teenagers to stop having sex so they don't embarrass Jesus. Not only are you asking for something that's never going to happen, but you're putting the responsibility on the most unlikely possible people. Have the conversation and start your own army, instead of looking for validation from the shitty people who don't want you anyway.
Anne: "So what, all this outreach and advocacy is for suckers?"
Jacob: "No. But the It Gets Better campaign is the closest possible answer. Not addressing the bullies who aren't listening, but the kids who are so tied up in their own powerlessness and need that they don't understand how much power they actually have. Explaining to them what options they have, in an untenable environment. Tools and strategies to beat the game."
Anne: "It seems like you're blaming the victim."
Jacob: "Understand things as they are, operate within that framework, and there won't be a victim to blame. The only worthwhile education you can give a kid at this point in life is how to deal with ugly realities, the way things actually work. Not whine at shitty kids with shitty parents who aren't listening anyway. Stop outsourcing accountability for your own strength, or your kid's, to gross people who don't care anyway."
Anne: "Okay, fine. What would you say to a person who was getting cyberbullied?"
Jacob: "Block the person. The Internet is not real, it's a giant bathroom wall. Learn it early, live it forever."
Anne: "What would you say to a person who was getting regular bullied?"
Jacob: "Beat the shit out of the person."
Jacob: "No, not really. Maybe sometimes. I would say that everything is a transaction, and we've all forgotten that somewhere along the way. That if you're going to be the kind of person who gets bullied, and you can't handle it, you need to stop being that person."