I was like a junior in college when this awful, terrible invention called “Juicy Campus” made its rounds around the internet. 10 points for anyone who remembers it.
Juicy Campus, one of the most evil concepts to hit college campuses, was an online forum, organized by college campus, which allowed folks anonymously, without logging in, to post threads on each campus’ forum, which would in turn, generate a lot of responses. I attended Elon University, a small liberal arts school of about 4,500 students at the time, which meant that everyone was logged on, and everyone knew who was talking about whom.
As you can imagine, this modern-day burn book took off like wildfire, and no one was spared. There was one poor kid, who was rumored to have had social problems akin to a disorder represented on the Autism spectrum, who constantly was the source of these posts. In another, an anonymous poster criticized a friend of mine, suggesting that she get a nose job. And when I was juiced, it started off as a thread that stated that I was one of the hottest black girls on campus (out of all .5 of us, whoopdie-freakin-doo), and someone commented underneath that not only was I not hot, that I was annoying and asked for extensions on papers.
Juicy Campus is long gone, I think the rumor was some folks had committed suicide due to nasty posts. I’m not sure if that was true, but it certainly hurt a lot of folks.
Fast-forward to now, when folks are still trying to hide behind computer screens to be nasty and bully others.
In a much more innocuous, but still snarky post on a local forum, someone posted that a duo that appeared on a local news segment was “annoying.” A completely snarky, and unconstructive critical comment. And for what? I pointed out on the forum that local news folks could just as easily log into the forum as we could, and that such comments could hurt their feelings.
Here’s where I come in. I blog. I can be funny. I have no qualms with making it very clear that I hate local morning radio for good reason, or that I’m a huge supporter of Rock n’ Roll coming to Raleigh in April. But I can assure you that I will be transparent, that I will never hide behind the screen and bully or beat up on others of no reason. I’ve poked fun at Lamar Odom, Olivia Newton-John, and every single Housewife of Wherever, but I do it with this in mind. If this person were to read it (yeah right!) would they be in tears? And if the answer is no, I feel okay.
So I challenge you folks, when you’re commenting on Facebook or Buzzfeed posts, when you comment on local blogs, or when you comment on Perez, that you keep in mind that celebrities, huge and small, are actual people. If you might not like to feel like crap when you read something about yourself the way that I did, you might not like it either. Okay?
Let’s hug it out.