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To do it for the vine or nah

September 25th, 2014

 

Some social media apps have had a good run. A lot die out, too.

 

There was Formspring, which no one will remember until they read this. Facebook is now for  parents and old high school classmates with kids.

 

Twitter has maintained a steady presence. So has Snapchat. Instagram is basic, but awesome. Yik Yak is just getting started.

 

Then, there’s Vine.

 

For those who don’t know it’s a free app that allows users to upload seven-second videos. This usually includes something funny their friends did or is a clip of something they’re witnessing that they think would make for a good vine.

 

Vine hit its peak about two years ago. Everybody posted vines of friends or themselves doing something funny or dumb. It would get likes and comments and everything was great.

 

I used to love Vine. Up until recently, I used to watch vines of “Vine famous” people or comedians and celebrities right before I went to sleep because I knew I’d be going to bed laughing.

 

For reasons like these, this app was a great idea. But like all other social media outlets, Vine is widely used to make fun of people.

 

And after a while, it started to get out of control.

 

It is inevitable that social media sites will be taken advantage of for personal gain. Cyber bullying sucks.

 

That person being picked on can’t escape the ridicule by going home. Because sometimes, people want to come home and check their phone. And when they do so, they’ll scroll down their feed and see mean things written about them.

 

I understood this, though. And, although I saw a few nasty vines about people, I kept the app and continued to use it frequently. There were thousands of other users, users that don’t abuse the app, that had hilarious videos. And I wanted to keep watching them.

 

There was one week, though, that made me delete it and submit an anonymous letter to their feedback team complaining about their lack of monitoring comments and abuse. Day after day, I came across several vines that made me want to throw my phone against my wall.

 

The first was of a girl who was posting videos of her singing to try and create a fan base.Was she terrible?

 

Yes.

 

Were some people maybe trying to save her the trouble and tell her not to quit her day job?

 

I hope so.

 

But there were comments – and then there were comments. And these people tore her to shreds.

 

There were several other videos that week just like it that made me sick. My least favorite, though, was of a little boy and his big brother.

 

An ice cream truck drove up and the brother asked if he wanted some. The boy got so excited and I was all pumped up to watch a little boy run up to get an ice cream cone, it would be adorable, and that would be it.

 

But the video cut to the little boy smiling and laughing with his ice cream, with his big brother knocking it out of his hands and to the ground moments later just to get some laughs.

 

The video ended with the little boy sobbing, letting all of Vine know that it wasn’t a joke.

 

And if it was, it was a bad one.

 

I’m not trying to hate on social media. I am all for a solid tweet and a good Instagram filter.

 

But I’m definitely not on the side of cyberbulling and using a screen to hide behind while you make someone feel bad about themselves.

 

I would like to think that most people feel the same way, too.

 

But, just in case it’s in question, vines are supposed to be funny. They’re supposed to make other people laugh in a way that doesn’t exploit anybody else.

 

When anyone tweets, posts, comments, yaks or vines, they should make sure it represents themselves in a way that makes people want to be friends with them. Do it to make you and other people happy.

 

And don’t just do it for the vine.