The internet has made it easier than ever to transfer information across the world. It has led to a lot of incredible developments for our world, but also some negative things as well. Few people know the negative side of the internet better than Jennifer Wilkinson. A photo of her falling off a motorized shopping cart went viral around 6 years ago, and people are still sharing it to this day.
Wilkinson was in her local Walmart when she decided she wanted some soda that fateful day. She reached up for the box of cans and promptly fell out when the Rascal-brand scooter tipped over.
Someone was there to snag a picture and the rest is history. Now Wilkinson is coming out and telling her perspective on the incident in an attempt to shed light on the issues that cyberbullying can pose.
It’s easy for people on the internet to see a picture like this and instantly form an opinion of Wilkinson. But the truth is far more complicated than a simple picture can share.
Jennifer suffers from spondylolisthesis, a spine condition that has forced some of her backbones out of place. She loses her balance easily and can’t walk for long periods of time, hence the scooter in Walmart.
While many have picked on her weight, the condition caused serious issues for her before she put on a single pound. She began to suffer from depression due to her condition, which led to overeating – a dangerous, difficult cycle.
“I am used to hearing people make fun of me or saying snide remarks. It was nothing new,” she said, according to Shared. “The reason I am sharing this is because people think it is funny to laugh at people with disabilities.”
No matter what reason for her spill, there is nothing “right” about making fun of someone in a situation like this. While it’s easy for people to point and laugh over the internet, they could find themselves in a similar situation someday. Hopefully, they won’t face the torture that Jennifer has endured.
“Next time you see photos making fun of people just remember you know nothing about these people or the struggles they face every day,” she added. “It is never just harmless fun to laugh at someone.”
Cyberbullying discussion tends to focus on young kids, but it clearly affects adults like Wilkinson as well. We are connected 24/7 to people around the world, leaving nowhere to hide for someone suffering from cyberbullying.
The best way to avoid these issues is to disconnect from technology whenever you can. Don’t use Facebook to form your opinions, but actually do some research instead. Don’t just use a picture like this as a way to feel better about yourself, because it doesn’t work. People like Jennifer shouldn’t suffer because the rest of us need something to point and laugh at in order to deal with our own lives.
What do you think of the cyberbullies that have made Wilkinson’s life a living nightmare? Share in the comments!
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