There’s a MEME floating around the internet of a baby who looks like she may have on makeup, at least that’s how people are describing her. For the past couple of days it has been being shared from people all over the world including celebrities getting it pretty good exposure. Recently someone unearthed another child who is suffering from leukemia and on the brink of homelessness and began stating that people should stop sharing the meme immediately. They misidentified the child in the meme as the sick child.
Apparently that’s where people draw the line. You want to make fun of a baby? Fine. You want to make fun of a homeless baby with leukemia? You will burn in the fiery pits of hell with all of the rest of the evil people in the world. This way of thinking is problematic. The sharing, commenting, laughing, etc of the meme are all forms of internet bullying. Before this child’s fifth birthday it’s image has been widely used as a form of entertainment. Why is this ok? We sit behind these computer screens and become desensitized to people and their feelings. A “simple” joke becomes a widespread phenomenon that everyone is ok with supporting until people think that the child is sick.
Whether the child is sick or not has no bearings on whether it is wrong to share their image all over the internet. Can you imagine growing up and finding out that when you were a baby you were the butt of one of the internet’s jokes? Would it be ok to take the same sorts of photos and share them at a public function such as church or a community picnic? Would this meme be ok if the child were yours, or someone in your family, or you?
Sharing these memes is the equivalent of joaning, hiking, ragging, mocking, ridiculing, whoever is so lucky to be the subject of the current memes. Sharing memes such as this is cyberbullying whether that is your intention or not and cyberbullying can have deadly consequences. It can lead to depression, anxiety, or suicide. I’m sure you may think that’s a far reach for this meme but I’ve seen children and adults of all ages turned into these funny memes and if you decide to share them you may want to think of the potential effects.