Harnessing the Power of…Cyber Bullying?

Posted: November 16, 2014 in Uncategorized

The Holy Convocation 2014 recently took place in St. Louis, Missouri. It is an annual even hosted by the Church of God in Christ where Christians from all over the country come and pray and worship the Lord together. At this years Holy Convocation, a man came to the altar that wanted to be delivered from homosexuality. Christianity teaches that God loves everyone and this includes homosexuals, but he does not love certain acts, as homosexuality is described in the Bible as an abomination. The video of Andrew Caldwell wanting to be delivered has gone viral. Why? Mainly because Andrew displayed very poor grammar. At one point Andrew declares he is not gay anymore and is “delivert”. He also states he will not date “a men” does not like “mens” anymore, and he will love “a women”. Although Andrew describes in an interview how difficult growing up for him was as an African American homosexual and that his desire for deliverance was sincere, social media users went into a frenzy. The memes and trending hash-tags on Andrew being “delivert” have exploded in popularity. One individual went as far as to create a cartoon using the audio from the video of Andrew at the altar and provided captions to highlight Andrew’s grammatical errors. I must confess, I myself, could not stop laughing when I saw it.

Andrew is now suing Twitter and other social media networks for $50 million dollars because he states these networks are allowing their users to make fun of him and bully him. Andrew states the hate comments he is receiving have caused him to have a nervous breakdown and quit his job. Andrew has also gone into seclusion, he claims, and states the situation is destroying his life mentally and financially.

Andrew genuinely is a victim of online bullying as the jokes on him are incessant, but it is rather difficult to determine if his testimony was authentic or if it was all for show. If it was indeed all for show, this would be a great way to view cyber bullying from a productive perspective. The ease and popularity of cyber aggression is actually catapulting Andrew Caldwell into fame. Recent news indicates he is in the process of writing a book about his experience being a gay black man as well as what it is like being the butt of so many jokes. He is also recently engaged and excited about having children which has the internet like “huh”?

Relying on cyber aggression to produce fame is not a new concept, particularly in Hollywood. Oh how our society loves to treat celebrities like demigods, but cannot help but have a field day when they stumble. Another individual that seems to rely heavily on the internet’s propensity to turn people into jokes would be Kim Kardashian. Kim K is a socialite and is best known for a sex tape she released with her ex boyfriend r and b singer Ray J. She owns a clothing line along with her sisters, is the daughter of a famous attorney, and is currently married and has a child with superstar rapper Kanye West. Kim is known for various antics that set that set social media ablaze such as her recent photo shoot with Paper Magazine that completely exposes her well oiled buttocks as well as a fully exposed frontal photo. The memes are popping up everywhere with the most common being her exposed backside photo shopped onto a coffee machine dispensing coffee to make it appear as if the coffee is coming out of her buns. Internet users are also photo shopping all types of things in between her butt crack. These racy photos Kim likes to take make her a popular trend across all social media platforms and this is how she became famous in the first place: via the sex tape her and Ray J created.

It is disturbing to see how creative outlets like social media are being transformed into “weapons of mass destruction”, and it is interesting to see how individuals are taking this destructive tool and using it for their own personal gain. Certainly no one wishes to become a victim of cyber bullying per se, but we know if antics are ridiculous enough they can earn someone plenty of attention. Its  just a part of the package deal.



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