Letters for July 17
As Michael Brand's tenure leading the Oregon City Chamber of Commerce comes to a close, I take this opportunity to thank him for launching some innovative programming that will impact our economy for many years ahead.
Having moved here four years ago and facing the prospect of reinventing my career, I personally took advantage of three special initiatives Michael brought to the chamber: the Entrepreneur Academy, the Speaker Academy and the NEXT Leaders program. By all measures, these pioneering efforts have improved life here in Oregon City.
I speak for many other participants in our appreciation for the energy and devotion that Michael Brand brought to improving the business climate and the community. Personally, these programs Michael nurtured through the chamber have made a decisive difference in my life and future.
He left his mark on our town, and we will be forever grateful.
Cyberbullying: Who does it? Why, when and how do they do it? Who are their victims?
Have you ever gone to your favorite social media app and received a notification that a post or comment that you made was reported and removed? Have you ever been in a discussion with someone on this app and then noticed the next day your comment was removed, theirs remains and you've been suspended or muted from the site? Or, maybe you are related to a person who had this encounter, and then like a whirlwind of tornadoes, all of a sudden, any post or comment you make is reported or removed?
Who are these cyberbullies? Where do they come from, and where do they live? Well, they are everyday people like you and I. Some sit behind their keyboard, mobile device or tablet with a glass of champagne, a beer or a very strong alcoholic beverage.
Some are contractors for cable and telephone companies, some are store employees, some even sit on the city council, and you may even be related to one, or married to one.
In my opinion, those that do this are narcissists and/or sociopaths. And shockingly, they live right next door, across the street or even in your own home, and they secretly do these things without you knowing.
Whether they are reporting a teenager, a single mom or dad who is trying to earn some extra money, or the neighborhood community animal rescue, they are mimicking the actions of a Gestapo. Control and interference is their mission.
And when you notice that someone they are friends with makes a post that is similar to one that was reported and removed, it makes no sense at all except that it is truly a form of control, gaslighting and narcissism.
They are reporting for the wrong reasons, they are being biased and not supporting community. To even report a lemonade stand is absolutely narcissistic behavior.
How can a kid in today's world safely go door-to-door asking their neighbors if they need their lawn mowed, their leaves raked or even their fence painted? How can the single mom get the word out that she's available to help with housekeeping or organizing a neighbor's home when she has no money for advertising? Or the single dad trying to make ends meet by taking on odd jobs? They aren't promoting a business, they are trying to make it in a troubled economy. They are left to question what they did wrong, wondering why someone didn't just explain instead of clicking and reporting their post.
How does that teenager feel inside? Insecure? Disappointed? Depressed? Humiliated? Feeling like they have no purpose or cause to try again?
How does the cyberbully feel? Like a warrior? Like a big brute saying, "Yeah, I showed them!" This is typical sociopathic behavior as well as narcissistic behavior. Tattletale comes to mind.
But in public, face to face, that cyberbully is so "sincere," "concerned," "proactive in community activities" and "playing the role of a saint or upstanding citizen." This is the most fake a person can be, hiding behind their computers to achieve that. I even say they are so terribly unhappy in their own personal lives, that this power trip of reporting, banning and removing is the only means of satisfaction and happiness they experience. Some will go so far as to recruit their friends and family to report those whom they have targeted.
Not only is this concerning, it's hurtful and unnecessary. Especially when the cyberbullies say that they are not out to censor people. See this as another form of fakeness, as they are completely dishonest.
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