How many of you are familiar with a slam book? I first remember slam books from book #48 of Sweet Valley High, Slam Book Fever. As a fan of the series, a slam book seemed like an awesome idea. For those who have no idea what one is, it’s a spiral bound notebook and each page contains a different topic, such as “Who has the worst makeup?” or “Who is the nicest?” Or “Who has pretty hair?” or “Who has bad breath?”
Dumb, right? Yes, and very hurtful.
When in middle school, I’m ashamed to admit (but I will admit), I wrote in one of these books. I remember it well. When it was my turn, I grabbed the book and searched the pages for my name. I don’t recall where I saw it, but I know it was in there, and on a “bad” page. That didn’t stop me from adding a girl’s name to a different bad page. The book was cool. I mean, there was an entire book written about it. And by participating, I was part of the “cool” crowd.
Except I wasn’t.
I did some stupid crap in my school years. I know this. I followed what others did hoping to be popular. I’ve always been a little weird and misunderstood and by participating in these things, I hoped I could be part of that crowd. I was. Until we got caught.
I believe it was during lunch that a teacher came across the book. No one got detention, but the book was confiscated. And those that created the book were nowhere to be found. The blame was on me and the other girls who were trying to fit in. I don’t know why I was surprised and still tried to fit in with them as the years went by.
The Slam Book Years – those were difficult. All the jokes people made about me, all their thoughts about me – all written down for the world to see. Now I’m in my (late) thirties, and I still wouldn’t redo my school years. And I can’t imagine doing them now.
Facebook. Twitter. Tumblr, and whatever else is out there that I don’t know about, because let’s face it, I’m not hip. Never have been. These things are the new slam books. These social networks meant to bring people together are bullying headquarters and the newest ways to tear people and their beliefs down. I love social media. Love it. I have made many new friends online and this is very important to me because I don’t feel I make friends easily in real life. Despite having graduated from high school eighteen years ago, making friends at my age is no different than it was in grade, middle, or high school. The pettiness is still there. The judgements still exist. And, let’s face it, I’m still weird. Through Facebook and Twitter, I have met many authors and fitness people who have the same interests as me and are just as weird.
I love social media. Love it. I have made many new friends online and this is very important to me because I don’t feel I make friends easily in real life. Despite having graduated from high school eighteen years ago, making friends at my age is no different than it was in grade, middle, or high school. The pettiness is still there. The judgements still exist. And, let’s face it, I’m still weird. Through Facebook and Twitter, I have met many authors and fitness people who have the same interests as me and are just as weird. I’ve found where I fit in.
But then there are those people.
The slammers. The blockers. The judgemental non-judgers. I see them every single day. These social networks allow an insight into people’s views and it’s easy to see who you really would not get along with IRL. (In real life for those who don’t follow abbreviations. I am just finally learning some of these!)
The slammers. These are the people who only post negative things about everything and everyone. From politics to other people’s personal choices to even names celebrities pick for their children. There is always something to say. These are the people who probably created slam books in their years.
The blockers. These are the ones who always comment on your positive post with something negative about your uplifting words or only complain in everything they type. They live to bring you down. I’ve learned these people only lack confidence and are jealous of your success.
The judgemental non-judgers. These are my favorite people. They claim not to judge people, but all they post are things that plainly judge others. These mostly come about during elections and huge national events and, unfortunately, tragedies.
I’m sure we all have these people in our news feeds, and we all are probably guilty of being one at some time or another. Heck, this blog post in itself is a tad judgemental, don’t you think? Oh, the irony.
Every day I come across one of these people. I can go to specific pages and see people tearing each other down. It’s not only social networks as listed above, but also blogs and comments areas on national sites. The Internet introduced a whole new world to bullying and just being mean. A lot of people refer to this as freedom of speech. While yes, it is, there is also a line when people start with name-calling and ripping other’s apart with their words.
It’s funny. Sticks and stones will break my bones, but names will never hurt me.
If you ask me, the names sometimes hurt more.
Tell me, did you have a slam book in your school years? Also, what type of people do you run into online? Let me know in the comments.