Here’s the thing: Cyberbullying isn’t the same thing as trolling. Not even close. Public figures, particularly athletes and celebrities, which Paige Spiranac purports to be, are jeered and ridiculed. See: Any professional athlete of any stature’s Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, etc. Go to any sporting event (yes, even golf).
It’s unfortunate, but it’s the way of world.
Now, cyberbullying is frigging awful. And it is more like, well, how about these excerpts from an AP report from earlier this week about an 18-year-old girl killed herself…
“Her father, Raul Vela, said she had been receiving abusive text messages for months from bullies using an untraceable smartphone application. Her father said someone made a fake Facebook page of her, creating another cyberbullying medium.”
‘“They would make dating websites of her, and they would put her number and they would put her picture (on the sites), and lie about her age and say she is giving herself up for sex for free, to call her,” said Jacqueline Vela.”
Cyberbullying isn’t being told via comments on your self-indulgent public Instagram that you were undeserving of sponsor’s exemptions based on your talent and that the only reason you secured such exemptions was your penchant for posting scantily clad/painted-on Spandex selfies and “trick shot” videos and the resulting popularity and widespread spankbank-filler status.
Paige Spiranac: Be upset that you’ve been trolled. Fine. But don’t cast your lot with the victims of cyberbullying. You are regarded as a beautiful woman, have nearly one million followers on Instagram, and you wouldn’t have been invited to any Ladies European Tour events were it not for said Instagram presence. You caption videos with things like “It’s not like you guys actually read the caption anyways haha.”
For context, here’s what Paige had to say in Dubal her widely praised remarks about “cyberbullying”
“But when you see the comments that people say, they are extremely cruel. They attack not only me but my parents, my family, my friends, and you know, they say I’m a disgrace to golf. It’s really hard and I still get those comments and I still deal with it every day (tearing up).
“I think it’s really important. I think people need to see how much it actually does affect me, and the things they call me. I feel like I was raised right from my parents, and for them to attack my parents and attack what I’m doing, it’s really difficult. I struggled with a lot of depression after it, because as a 22-year-old, you feel like you’re not worth anything.
“You feel worthless, and no matter what you do, it’s never good enough. So to have all these people say that I’m not like a golfer, I’m not a good person; you know, I’m promise accuse or make these judgments about me that are not true, it’s really hard, just because I like to wear Spandex on the golf course. You think about it and it seems so foolish, you about you never know what that person is going through in their life.
“Teenage suicide rates are up right now, and they think it’s because of cyberbullying. And so if I can share my story and I’m okay with being emotional about it and I’m okay with kind of expressing what happened to me, because people don’t realise how hard it was on me and how hard it was and the comments I do get and people threatening my life and saying the world is better off without me, people don’t see that side of it. I think it’s really, really important to share that with everyone.”
Now, I don’t want to be the one to fold this fragility and attention seeking in with say, the attention seeking of posting pictures like this…
…so this “just because I like to wear Spandex on the golf course” attitude rings false. By all means, speak out about cyberbullying. Decry the behavior that drove Brandy Vela to suicide. But don’t act like the double-edged sword of social media has cut you deeply relative to the bounty it has poured out at your feet. To do so is an offense to the real victims of cyberbullying.