In the realm of fables, the story of “The Boy Who Cried Wolf” has long served as a cautionary tale, teaching children the consequences of dishonesty. However, in today’s digitally-driven world, cyberbullying has emerged as a significant societal problem that mirrors the perils depicted in this timeless fable. I have toxic tenants “crying wolf” over allegations of racism and discrimination against me and so many others for the past 7 1/2 years on various websites.
Every time I think about the cyberbullying I personally have experienced and seen from the toxic tenants I had in my last workplace, I am reminded of this fable. It all started in 2017 with the first domain of 859kennedyroad.com, which is still registered for use. Then came stellareddy.com, davidstrashin.com, sjtomemberkevinlundy.com and sjtomembervandanapatel.com in April – Dec 2019. Then came socialjusticetribunalsontario.ca in June 2020 and lorriereddy.com came July 2022.
Since these came, I have seen other domains registered to the same toxic tenants show up, rosseveltskerrit.com, stcatherinesanimalhospital.com, and connaughtpublicschool.com. In each of these domains’ contents, there are also claims of racism and discrimination against the people named within.
This post explores the parallels between “The Boy Who Cried Wolf” and cyberbullying, emphasizing the potential dangers and far-reaching consequences of engaging in such harmful behaviour.
- Loss of Credibility: In the fable, the shepherd boy’s repeated false alarms led to his ultimate downfall. Similarly, when cyberbullies resort to deception, manipulation, and spreading false information, their credibility is rapidly eroded. Crying “wolf” too many times by harassing or defaming others online, especially in so many domains, will eventually render their words ineffective, ultimately causing them to lose trust and credibility within their own community.
- Desensitization to Genuine Calls for Help: The fable’s underlying message highlights the dangers of becoming desensitized to repeated cries for help due to repetitive false claims. In parallel, the alarming prevalence of cyberbullying in our society has led to many dismissing genuine pleas for assistance online. If these toxic tenants ever do face real discrimination, who is going to believe them?
- Emotional Distress and Psychological Harm: Both the fable and cyberbullying share a common consequence: the infliction of emotional distress and psychological harm. The constant teasing, body-shaming, threats, and overall anonymity that characterize cyberbullying can take a severe toll on victims’ mental and emotional well-being. Just as the young shepherd boy’s actions caused emotional upheaval within his community, cyberbullying can leave victims feeling isolated, anxious, and depressed.
- Undermining Community Connections: In the fable, the shepherd boy’s repeated false alarms caused the community to question and eventually withdraw their support. Likewise, cyberbullying corrodes the foundations of trust and unity within online communities. Eventually, the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario will cease to respond to any applications submitted in their names and all agencies will no longer support them because of their behaviour with websites, now and in the past.
- Long-Term Consequences: Ultimately, the story of “The Boy Who Cried Wolf” warns about the dire consequences of selfish and malicious behaviour. Similarly, cyberbullying can have long-lasting repercussions for both the bullies and the victims. Perpetrators may face legal consequences, tarnished personal reputations, and loss of future opportunities. They created those websites and nothing they can do to deny that. At the same time, victims can experience lasting psychological trauma that affects their overall quality of life and potential for personal and professional growth. Here I am, 7 1/2 years after my personal situation with cyberbullying started, still learning about the toxic traits and how to recover from it all.
In conclusion, “The Boy Who Cried Wolf” provides an instructive parallel to the modern-day scourge of cyberbullying. Both highlight the severe consequences of dishonesty, loss of credibility, emotional distress, and the erosion of community connections. It is crucial for individuals, particularly in our digital age, to understand the perils of engaging in harmful behaviours and to actively work towards fostering a positive and respectful online environment for all. If you lie, eventually your lies will be caught out.