Stop the Hate

It didn't matter where we were,

He was enthralled in that phone,"Interact with your family,""No texting at the dinner table,""Be social,"But all of these requests were to no prevail. Who knew that such a simple piece of technology could dictate his life so greatly? None of us did.  All he'd ever talk about was his cute selfies, yummy Pinterest recipes, and adorable cat videos he found on YouTube. He thrived on the comments that his Facebook "friends" left on his pictures.They were a necessity to fuel his self-esteem,And the fact that he had hundreds of them made him feel like he was on top of the world. It annoyed me greatly,For he wouldn't stop talking about these superficial things,The things that I saw through,But that he was blinded by. It was all fun and games, Literally,Candy Crush with a "cute" stranger he met online,So cute that he skipped fishing with family to talk to this stranger,Who he felt he'd known "his whole life." Of course "we didn't understand, and we never would." He had found "the one," Only he'd find out it was "the one" he never wanted,He should've swiped left. Because instead of fishing with family,He got catfished. "The One" wasn't the one he thought he was,Because "The One" told the one thing he never wanted anyone to know,The one thing that the hours he spent online reinforced in his mind,"Wrong,""Gross,""Unnatural,""Sinful,""Friends" indirectly and unknowingly telling him it was wrong to be himself,Sinful for him to want to kiss the quarterback,Unnatural for him to want to wear lipstick. It was better to keep it quiet than to share it like a post on Facebook. The flirty filters distorted the true identity of "The One,"Because you can't tell someone's true personality through a computer screen.  Because when he sent that heart emoji to "The One,"Revealing his true secret, That was the beginning of the end. Because "The One" told another one, and another one, and another one. "The One" was actually the quarterback,And the quarterback could play more than just football,He could play pranks too,"It'd be hilarious,"And what was wrong with a "harmless little prank on an unsuspecting freshman?" Everything. It wasn't hilarious when his selfies were scorned with nasty insults,Instead of the usual heart eye emojis and "cutie pies" It was puking emojis and chorusesOf derogatory insults and slandering. And through the silence of the computer screen,He could still hear the insults,Each one like a stab wound to his heart.  Since when had simply existing become a crime? It was like people were pressing the dislike button on the YouTube video of his existence. He had lost their approval, And therefore in his mind,Had lost it all. It was so easy for them to destroy him with the click of a button,To sit behind a screen and leisurely break him down. The one secret he'd kept for so long had been carelessly leaked like a boyband's new album,Which they mercilessly teased him for loving. Once you put something online,It's out there for an eternity. There was no button to delete the pain in his heart,The shame he felt for simply existing, The marks on his arms and the tears on his pillow exceeded the number of negative comments on his profile, But even that wasn't enough. It never would be,Because much like those comments,He could not simply erase who he was. Or could he? Where were those "friends" when he needed them?The ones that left the nice comments on his pictures.The comments that suddenly now meant nothing,Replaced by the mean ones that meant everything.   And if I would've known that those marks on his arms weren't from the cat,Would've known why his appetite suddenly diminished,I would've hugged him and never let him go, Dried his tears,Told him everything would be alright. I couldn't have erased the comments,But I could've told him that it's never a crime to be yourself,That I would've accepted him faster than any friend request he had ever eagerly sent out. I would've demanded that he put down the phone,Come join the real world,With his tangible friends and family,The ones he didn't need a like or tweet from to know we noticed him and cared about him. I could've stopped him from poisoning himself with those pills.Because they were so scared that he'd alter their "perfect, traditional, orderly" lives, because they were afraid and ignorant,They told him to end his. So he did. Now when you search for his deleted Facebook account,You get an Error 404,And when I search for him,I find 100,000 results of the Grim Reaper,And his grave is resting amongst them. Was it really worth it?30 seconds of snickering for one human life?One senseless comment that equated to ignorance and fear. So be careful what you say online,Because you can never take it back. Be a follower that isn't a follower,and stick up for those being cyber bullied. Cyber bullying is bullying, and sending a hurtful comment is like throwing a punch,It alters someone in some way forever. It's important to stop Cyberbullying,To stop telling people it's wrong for them to be themselves,To delete the comments and this kind of behavior,Because kids are dying. As quickly as it takes to post something hurtful, Someone could end their life over something so seemingly small,So fast.  So reach out and be a real friend.  Because maybe if those people had been,I'd still be able to hear my brother's incessant chattering about the amount of likes he got on his selfie,Or the endless clicking from his fingers typing and texting away. It doesn't seem so annoying to me anymore. 

Poetry Slam: 
This poem is about: 
My community
Our world


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