Richard Armitage Introduces a Discussion about Cyberbullying Prevention/Mitigation–And He Gets Everyone Talking, June 14, 2015 Gratiana Lovelace (Post #766)

I read with interest Richard Armitage’s far ranging introductory essay “The Human 2015--RichardArmitagePortrait2012-w-his-TheHumanCondition-and-SocialMediaEssay_Jun1315TheCybersmileFoundation-sized-wURLCondition and Social Media” that opens up a discussion about preventing and mitigating cyberbullying –or just bullying in general–via his newly minted Goodwill Ambassador status with The Cybersmile Foundation (portrait image right is by Robert Ashcroft from 2012, also found here at RANet). Some people/fans liked what Richard Armitage wrote, or not. Some people/fans liked how he wrote it, or not. That’s human nature. But Mr. Armitage has gotten everyone talking about the issues surrounding preventing and mitigating cyberbullying–and that can’t be a bad thing.

And in reading several varying opinions on different blogs about the Richard Armitage Essay, I appreciate their thoughtful comments positive/negative, good/bad as an aggregate. So what follows is by no means a compendium of all opinions, just me picking a few blog essays that reflected differing opinions that resonated with me–and perhaps voices that you might not have heard yet.  And I will provide the links to those other blogs and their discussion for you below–so be sure to visit those blog posts and also read the comments where lively and spirited discussions take place.

And to paraphrase what Mr. Armitage tweeted in partial response some of his Weibo followers who objected to him following the Dalai Lama, my mentioning and linking to a particular blogger’s essay below is in no way an “endorsement”, I simply appreciate reading many different views and opinions–just as my not linking to someone’s blog post below does not imply that I disagree with them. And my choices of blog essays to feature below, reflects a wish on my part to bring additional voices to my reader’s attention–from among some of the other interesting blogs that I follow.

 

And my own thoughts about Mr. Armitage’s essay and peoples response essays became rather long. No surprise there. Ha! So rather than commenting on any one person’s blog post, I just decided to blog my thoughts here.  My thoughts here are a bit free form for a change–somewhat like Richard Armitage’s essay. But I will try to keep it to one page in MSWord–okay 1.75 pages (9 pt font). *winces sheepishly*

1) Judiang of the Confessions of a Watcher blog:

One of ladies whom I consider to be one of my very good RA fan friends whom I have met and spent some extended time with–in person no less, 3 times, Ha! via the exquisitely talented British Actor Richard Armitage admiration that we share–is Judiang of the Confessions of a Watcher blog, which is currently experiencing some technical issues and is offline for the moment. But Michaela Servetus of the MeandRichardArmitage blog came to the rescue and gave Judiang a platform to share her views about the Armitage Cybersmile essay in a guest post–after Servetus had earlier shared her own views about personal speech rights and the Armitage essay. And Servetus has also kindly reblogged a few other people’s reactions to the Armitage Cybersmile essay for everyone’s convenience. Thanks!

Getting back to Judiang and her essay reaction to the Armitage Essay, I love her incisive and insightful mind. She challenges me to think about issues in nuanced ways. Sorry that her blog platform is still wonky. And I look forward when she can blog to us again. And thanks once more to Servetus for sharing your post here.

In her guest post, Judiang constructively enumerated several questions regarding key points in RA’s essay that I view as opportunities for RA to explore and elaborate upon for future essays–definitions of bullying, online identity/privacy/safety discussions, more about resources and cyberbullying prevention/mitigation response, etc., are topics that I am interested in hearing more about. With my career in the university educational milieu for over thirty years–oops, I just gave my age away, ha!–and for many years now as an administrative professional level support person–we receive additional annual training about various topics related to aiding and referring students who might be experiencing crises (since students often seem to let things go until multiple issues are hitting them), in order to help them gain the assistance that they need. So I am always eager to learn more ways to be of help to students and others.

 

2) Crystal Chandlyre’s eponymous blog:
A more glowingly positive response to the Armitage Essay was shared by crystalchandlyre. Her focus about the positive aspects of Richard Armitage’s essay and in creating greater awareness for the issue of preventing and mitigating cyberbullying resonated quite deeply with me. Many people have also commented about Mr. Armitage’s well intentioned efforts in bringing the issue of combating cyberbullying to the forefront.   And while my green grading pencil is sometimes at the ready when I read others’ essays like Mr. Armitage’s–as well as picking apart my own essays–crystalchandlyre’s essay invited and reminded me to delay my critique and sit back and look at the broader picture and the longer term hoped for gains in broadening the discussion about cyberbullying prevention and mitigation on the internet that The Cybersmile Foundation and Richard Armitage hope to achieve with their awareness campaign.

 

3) Finally, Random Thoughts by Rashisama:
Rashisama, aka Amazing Grace on Twitter, sharing her views about the Armitage essay, is a middle ground Armitage essay reaction essay of sorts for me–as was Perry’s post on her Armitage Agonistes blog. And Rashisama’s essay perhaps reflects my own more sanguine views about anything that happens in Armitage World.   This too shall pass is my motto. And the musical metaphor that Rashisama incorporates in her reaction essay to illustrate her views about the good/bad, like/dislike, discord/harmony reactions to the Armitage Essay still creating beautiful music reflecting the varied opinions, was as much lyrical as it was eloquent. Brava! Rashisama agrees with some people, and she disagrees with some people. And that’s okay. She shares that these are her views and opinions. And she helps us to understand how her opinions developed–that for me, served as a reminder for me to think more reflectively about my own opinion formation.

 

I have tried to discipline myself to sharing examples of only 3 bloggers essays in response to the Armitage Essay on preventing and mitigating cyberbullying, but a few other blog post examples snuck in as well. Ha! However, there are so many wonderful bloggers and their viewpoints out there. So, if you have also blogged about this issue–of cyberbullying prevention and mitigation, and/or Richard Armitage’s essay introducing the topic from his perspective–please share your post link in a comment below for myself and my readers’ convenience.

 

Grati’s Something About Love blog:
And finally, what is my/Grati’s take on Richard Armitage’s introductory post about the topic of cyberbullying prevention and mitigation? Apart from what I have already said in my comments above? I am interested to hear more from him and to see how he develops his essays for The Cybersmile Foundation in the future. As an ambassador for Cybersmile, RA’s public persona and reach will bring needed attention to the issue of bullying–whether it is cyberbullying or other. So others’ blog posts and people’s comments–such as in those exampled above and elsewhere–highlighting the positive aspects of RA’s message, are also ones that I appreciate reading as well.

Mr. Armitage has long sponsored charities with child centered advocacy as its focus through his Just Giving site. So his foray into being a spokesperson for what his essentially a cause to aid young people as a Cybersmile Ambassador, seems to align with his life mission of being a gentleman, artist, philanthropist, and citizen of the world. And as with others, I particularly appreciate and donate to Childline as one of those child advocacy organizations that Richard Armitage sponsors via his Just Giving site.

And since I am a speech and debate gal from way back when I was in college and beyond as a coach and tournament judge–and  I also taught communication courses at university after earning my degrees–focused, concise, and well documented (evidence and citation) essays always win points from me. So I would suggest future essays by Mr. Armitage might consider espousing a single topic focus approach.

And having an editor/proofer is always helpful, but I would rather read a few grammar/editing snafus with Mr. Armitage’s real voice and thoughts coming through his essays’ messages, than some marketing person writing his essays for him–or a marketing person changing RA’s essays so much that it doesn’t sound like him. There is also the issue of who the target audience is–in regard to sensibilities, as well as, language choice. For example, I know that I am mindful that I have readers from around the world, and so when I use idioms, I also try to provide links to explaining them. And Mr. Armitage has a much bigger global reach, so that might also influence his writing style for future essays–or getting help with proofing. Ha!

As Richard Armitage continues developing his ambassadorship for The Cybersmile Foundation, my guess is that he will naturally broaden his own understanding of the issues of bullying prevention and mitigation within a layperson’s perspective–and many of us are laypersons, unless we are professionally credentialed via law enforcement, medicine, social services professions, etc. Then as laypersons, we can turn our attention to the experts for more clinical professional advice should we ever have need of it.

And as I reflect about where the issue of being bullied intersects with my own life as Richard Armitage also shared a little bit about his own experiences in his essay–whether as an impressionable child whose appearance was not the norm (I was and am chubby, and I am a woman)–or as an adult who thought that such things as being bullied and harassed were in the long distant past–being bullied is a harrowing experience. But of my own experiences of being bullied–without details–I was able to forge ahead and get past them only because of my enormously supportive environment with teachers, friends, and family, for whom I am infinitely grateful. I had and have special people in my life who recognize my abilities, my talents, my potential, and my heart, etc. So my hard won self worth was not determined by others’ pettiness and bullying, but by myself and my accomplishments and my achievements and my life view. Yet I also realize that I am perhaps sometimes still too self deprecating in my thanking people for their kindness to me when they comment here or in my real life. And I realize that this response on my part is probably an outgrowth of my experiencing the opposite of kindness by bullies/harrassers.

But then there are those transcendant moments in life that lift you up. And I think one of the most heartfelt (and yes, kind) comments that I received recently was from a colleague who told me “I couldn’t do this without you”. That level of affirmation and acknowledgement is what we all need every once in a while to remember that we are on the right track. And I try to give that positive constructive message to others in thanking and encouraging them for their efforts and accomplishments–and for just being them. So let me say to my readers and fellow bloggers and online friends, “I couldn’t do this without you”.  Hugs!

In closing, I say Bravo! again to Richard Armitage and The Cybersmile Foundation for helping to restart the conversation amongst us about preventing and mitigating cyber/bullying as well as our being more circumspect and protective of ourselves regarding our social media use. And bravo/a to bloggers reflecting upon these topics. These are always timely and thought provoking discussions.

 

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About Gratiana Lovelace

Gratiana Lovelace is my nom de plume for my creative writing and blogging. I write romantic stories in different sub genres. The stories just tumble out of me. My resurgence in creative writing occurred when I viewed the BBC miniseries of Elizabeth Gaskell's novel North & South in February 2010. The exquisitely talented British actor portraying the male lead John Thornton in North & South--Richard Crispin Armitage--became my unofficial muse. I have written over 50 script stories about love--some are fan fiction, but most are original stories--that I am just beginning to share with others on private writer sites, and here on my blog. And as you know, my blog here is also relatively new--since August 2011. But, I'm having fun and I hope you enjoy reading my blog essays and my stories. Cheers! Grati ;-> upd 12/18/11
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22 Responses to Richard Armitage Introduces a Discussion about Cyberbullying Prevention/Mitigation–And He Gets Everyone Talking, June 14, 2015 Gratiana Lovelace (Post #766)

  1. Reblogged this on crystalchandlyre and commented:
    A great gathering of thoughts on Cyberbullying & Richard Armitage’s open letter on the same, by writer Gratiana Lovelace

    Liked by 1 person

  2. June 14, 15, 16, & 17 2015–Thanks for liking this post!

    jazzbaby1, crystalchandlyre, rashisama, anewcreation, Tessa, mujertropical, gpg442014, judiang, Servetus, Sarah, Perry, jholland, Traxy, obscura, Guylty, Esther, suzy, cRAmerry, vistaborders,april73, linnetmoss, & jollytr

    Like

  3. Jun1415–some Whitehouse links regarding bullying prevention & mitigation that I just found:

    http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2014/10/29/national-bullying-prevention-awareness-month

    and the WH linked to this external website:
    http://www.stopbullying.gov/

    and their cyberbullying definition info: http://www.stopbullying.gov/cyberbullying/index.html

    “What is Cyberbullying?

    Cyberbullying is bullying that takes place using electronic technology. Examples of cyberbullying include mean text messages or emails, rumors sent by email or posted on social networking sites, and embarrassing pictures, videos, websites, or fake profiles.”

    Like

  4. anewcreation says:

    Tough ask to read to the end of your post when Mr Thornton is on the side kissing the heck out of Margaret but I did manage it in the end. :-)
    Here is my two cents:
    https://anewcreation33.wordpress.com/2015/06/12/not-all-those-who-wander-are-lost/
    Not as eloquent perhaps as some of the other posts out there, but most certainly honest and from the heart.
    Thank you for sharing your thoughts and offering your own fresh perspective on the issue at hand. Reading others’ views is definitely most enriching and whether we share those views or not we must respect their right to express them without attacking them and jeopardising their freedom of speech in the process.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Tessa says:

    Yes, seriously, it was tough to read it with Thornton doing his thing, Mr. Armitage plastered all over the side too….geez…..Great post, I thought Mr. Armitage did a wonderful job on his first post. He has been more “eloquent” in other posts yes,but he seemed to be “stepping gently” as he wrote..Which is fine, considering sometimes people have torn him apart for what he posts…I admire this man greatly, he is humble, a gifted actor and passionate about what he believes in.. I give him a lot of credit for “puttiin’ it out there”…..Love this guy

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Hi Tessa, LOL about RA distRActions in my sidebar! And well said about your thoughts regarding Mr. Armitage and his introductory essay! He speaks/writes passionately from his heart. Cheers! Grati ;->

    Like

  7. judiang says:

    Thanks for the shout out Grati! On reflection, my former profession probably impacts how I read and interpret essays. I admire and respect RA – just want him to be the best he can be, I suppose.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi judiang,
      You’re most welcome! I love your incisive and insightful mind! And your essay’s reflections/suggestions about Richard Armitage’s introductory essay for Cybersmile were well-tempered and constructive advice with clear examples where you sought clarification or elaboration.
      And as I indicated in my remarks about your post, your essay highlights “opportunities” for Mr. Armitage to expand upon his introductory remarks. And I would surmise that Richard Armitage and Cybersmiles’ intentions/plans are for him to provide additional exploratory essays as time permits. This introductory essay of Mr. Armitage’s is probably just the first of a series of first person essays.
      Thanks & Cheers! Grati ;->

      Like

  8. Servetus says:

    Reblogged this on Me + Richard Armitage and commented:
    Grati weighs in.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Servetus says:

    I don’t think that those who suggested he find an editor, or (in my case, find some talking points and stick to them) were suggesting that he have the text rewritten by a professional marketer. I haven’t read that anywhere.

    To me, it’s the same issue as consulting a stylist for one’s clothes. It’s your body, you decide what to wear, the stylist brings out your best points with his/her selections (and obviously you are free not to wear them). The problem isn’t commas or misspellings — we all ignore those on the internet — rather, it’s entire paragraphs that don’t hang together, causal chains that he sets up that one assumes were not actually in his mind (the connection of the entertainment industry with hate crime tweets at the US President). Stream of consciousness works fine for oral interviews; it doesn’t work on paper unless you’re a novelist. It’s not that I don’t think this text was reflective of Richard Armitage as he is; I’m sure it is — it’s that it could have been more reflective of who he is if it weren’t saturated with problems that could easily have been fixed. If he wouldn’t go to a premiere in his suit from 2006, I wonder why he’d go to this ambassadorship premiere with this text.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. June 14, 2015–And Fedoralady at The Armitage Effect also shares her views about Richard Armitage’s Cybersmile introductory essay:

    http://thearmitageeffect.wordpress.com/2015/06/13/richard-is-no-plaster-saint-its-ok-not-to-agree-with-him-100-percent-of-the-time/

    And well said to Fedoralady about “preparedness”. Though with the size and variety of RA’s audience, I wonder if that is ever possible. Each person will look for their own personal perspective that we hope he references. Perhaps short focused essays on his part would be a possible way to achieve that.

    Like

  11. June 14, 2015–Something I tweet shared just now to a friend:

    “Sharing our opinions–& sometimes agreeing to disagree–is at the heart of civil discourse.”

    And I know that I personally benefit from reading/hearing other peoples’ opinions and viewpoints–whether or not I agree with them in whole, in part, or not at all. Sometimes they change my views, sometimes not. And I am pleased when others also listen to my perspective–whether or not they agree with me. Cheers! Grati ;->

    Like

  12. June 14, 2015–Lily Schroeder tweeted the link for her reflective and heartfelt reaction essay:

    https://thekaleidoscoperoom.wordpress.com/2015/06/13/adapt-survive-and-thrive/

    Like

  13. June 14, 2015–Marie Astra of the Obsessive Behavior blog shares what she got out of Richard Armitage’s Cybersmile message–refocusing my thoughts back to his broader topic of social media use. And I have to say that I agree with much of her summary of his comments.

    http://marieastra8.wordpress.com/2015/06/14/not-just-a-cyber-human/

    And I also espouse the “let’s not be quick to criticize/analyze” every single word, tweet, photograph, other choices that RA makes “camp”. Yes, he is a public figure of sorts–when he is at his job or promoting his job. But would we want such scrutiny targeting us? I wouldn’t.

    That’s not me being APM (Armitage Protection Mode), it’s just common courtesy IMHO. But that’s my view, and others are entitled to their view. Having a “different view” only becomes a problem if someone tries to beat you up rhetorically for you having your view–either way your view goes.

    So again I say, deciding to “agree to disagree” is at the heart of civilized discourse–as we have seen with this discussion across many blogs this weekend. We don’t all agree. And that’s okay. Cheers! Grati;->

    Like

  14. June 17, 2015–Glady Roland shared a pinterest link that gathered many of the various bloggers and others’ posts on the Cybersmile, bullying, net anonymity, etc. issues. Thanks!

    Like

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