This term is not an original that I made up. Some smart psychologist or something coined the phrase in referring to the culture we live in, particularly the youth culture. And I think that he or she got it pretty dead on.
You know what vultures do. They find something that’s sick or dying, something hurt, and they prey on it and feed on it and finish it off. It’s pretty gruesome and intense. But then so is the level of bullying and verbal bashing we see in youth culture today. Vulture culture — it unfortunately fits.
Maybe you know someone who has been made fun of on facebook. Maybe someone’s said something hurtful to you under the anonymousness of formspring. Maybe you’ve been made fun of by people at school. Maybe your brother or sister consistently berate you and make you feel worthless. This vulture culture is scary in how fierce and persistent it can be. It really seems like any time I go on facebook anymore I can find someone being picked on (even if “in joking”) in less than 10 minutes of meandering around.
And so what does this tell us? Is this just people joking around? Is this a matter of one or two people out there having real attitude problems and being the trouble makers? Or is it something that we all need to deal with because the end results can be shockingly tragic?
It should sadden us to hear that there are people ending their lives, giving away parts of their hearts, cutting themselves, bullying other people, or other serious reactions to this kind of stuff — even if it isn’t in our school or even state. This is a reality that WILL affect you and touch you and your friends and we MUST do something about it. There’s no question that cyber bullying and people being absolutely rude beyond belief is on the rise around us. But what are we doing about it? What can we do about it?
- Don’t participate. I know, it seems obvious. But don’t be one of the rude people who attack other people who you don’t like, no matter what.
- Don’t react. This one could have been put with the last one but you would have read over it. But arguments online are stupid and senseless. If you are being attacked or someone you care for is, don’t react. It fuels the fire when you do. For example, if you choose to have a formspring (which you’d be much better without) DO NOT respond to questions or comments that are rude, sexual, or too personal.
- Act. I heard it said once that we need to fight for a life of action not reaction. So in this instance you need to not react to people out of anger and frustration and emotion. You need to stop, step back from the situation, think about the best solution to the problem, and then act. There is this insane idea that if you contact an authority about something like this that you’re a coward or unable to handle your own junk, but it actually saves you from wasting your time with a situation that really does need someone’s attention, and also saves you from having to deal with it alone.
So as the vultures of rude, obnoxious, and angry people circle around, let us be the ones who come to the rescue bringing help and healing to those who have been hurt and keeping the vultures away. Then maybe we can see the culture begin to shift the way we know it needs to.