J.M. and J.O.
Degradation is a negative method of reducing a person's character or reputation. I believe we have all been guilty of this form of abasement at some time. In anger, we use this method of attacking the person or situation to find revenge or to parley a supposed advantage over an aggressor. The strategy seldom works; instead, degradation elicits further negative responses and name calling. Degradation contributes to deterioration of communication as it speeds the decline of a once-trusted relationship.
A simple, unsophisticated weapon, degradation is readily at hand. Little skill is involved in its use, and little control is used in its application. The power of the effect of degrading remarks depends upon their interpretation by the target.
Usually, the more trust one has instilled in someone who makes use of degradation, the more hurtful the outcome.
Most of all, I detest degradation for humor and frivolity. To degrade people at their expense by taking advantage of their social position, lack of education, or frail condition is inexcusable. Some evidently get enjoyment from harassing others for entertainment or delight in pure antagonism.
Being an ex-teacher, I am probably extra-sensitive to this mistreatment; however, I have seen the damage caused by clics, bullies, and arrogant individuals. It ruins self concepts and ignites terrible hatred. Like shooting fish in a barrel, picking on people for no good reason is inexcusable behavior.
Recently, I fell victim to degradation online in a cowardly scheme of computer identity theft. This is the first time I realized how some twisted individuals use other people's passwords to disguise their asinine comments and behaviors. I blame all parties involved- the real registered user and the thief of his identity. Sick games can be played this way. Such deceitful party games stink of irresponsible, even criminal behaviors.
In these games, one person hides behind the other's name while both claim innocense -- "Oh, someone must have stolen my password and account." The lie is evident, which makes the utterance so ridiculous.The ease of perpetrating the degradation and the so-called safety of denying any accusations aid the process of cowering behind a computer. A liar is bad enough, but a liar who lies when caught is scum. I have proof of the identities through contacts with friends on the site, and, of course, through the identity of the account on my friends' list. The case is ironclad.
Degrading activities are best forgotten and not taken to heart. My amazement at these people's purpose and lies do shock me. Still, my respect for them is completely destroyed and any future hints of kindness toward these cyber punks will be disputed when their names are mentioned to me. In fact, I hope never to see them again.
When I wonder how many people were provoked and damaged during their drunken scheme, I feel bad. I also feel bad because I helped both to achieve an education worthy of high standards. Not only that, but before the scheme, both claimed to be friends. Now, they deny everything and have become despicable in my book. Nothings.
A word of warning to others. Don't think that someone will not use similar tactics of degradation at will to hurt you. I can see how this method of spewing garbage is being used today, and I expect it to pick up as a new form of phone harassment while such people sit around drinking and taking drugs. You, my friend, may be next.
Unfortunately, I have closed my account and lost contact with many close friends due to this occurrence. It's my loss, but something I was forced to do. ANYONE can be using someone's Facebook, MySpace, or E-mail at any time. It is wrong but it is happening. If you think these services are entirely good-- you are very wrong.
People who love to degrade others will continue to do so-- some will find excuses for their actions and some will not. How weak-kneed and cowardice to do so in the name of another. How devious and spiteful to allow someone to access your name. These people should be ashamed of themselves, especially as supposedly upstanding adults in a good community. I guess I didn't really teach them anything at all. I will teach others about them.