Cyber Bullying: The Benni Cinkle Effect

It’s about time the internet learned a lesson, and Benni Cinkle of “Friday” fame was just the unassuming awkwardly dancing girl to prove it.

Everyone knows of the infamous “Friday” music video right? I mean, my DAD knows about it. So you must know – it’s a bad pop song (but strangely catchy at the same time) created by a moderately talented young singer, $3000-4000 of her parents hard-earned dollars and Ark Music Factory.

A combination guaranteed to incur all the seething monster wrath of the interwebs.

Personally I like this Bob Dylan version better.

Having the slings and arrows of outrageous annoyance slung at you from all corners is a lot for anyone to handle. And you know – some people don’t handle it well. Some young girls have chosen suicide as the only option to deal with being the focus of hate for thousands (or millions) of strangers. But in the case of the seemingly content and unruffled Rebecca Black and her BFF Benni Cinkle, they handled it with such suave that even the trolling hoards were given pause. They stopped long enough to give Cinkle a pat on the head for not taking it too hard on the chin and went in search of more easily frightened and tortured prey.

What did Cinkle do?

Aw yeah - dance on, you crazy girl!

Something more and more peeps who get the raw side of net hate are doing – joining in on the fun and taking the opportunity to help others. Cause they’re not complete assholes. Like the Bed Intruder Guy, who is using his 15 minutes to spread the word about rape.

Which leads me to wonder…are those trolls behind on the times? Has their creation of the memes surpassed their ability to control them? The generation of users (TRON!) coming up behind us is being raised in the era of smartphones and wifi and 24-7 Internet Party.

It leads me to wonder – do young men and women “get” the internet better than us trolls and slackers do? We are sitting back and bemoaning the loss of our “real” friendships on Facebook, while the kiddies are using it to pimp their internet fame and raise money for charities.

Perhaps, the pupil has now surpassed the master? Cinkle has leapt past the pitch-forked mobs with grace, calm, poise, humor and a net savvy that many her age probably also possess.

CAN we legitimately make fun of this up-and-coming generation? Are we starting to see the cracks in our armor? We’re not the “IT” kids anymore. We’re going to be left behind in the tech dust at some point.

This is how it begins, not with a bang, but with a Cinkle.

And a Katie Goldman.

And with the hundreds of other not-so-famous ladies, girls and young-woman who have faced the gauntlet of internet fame and emerged on the other side – with our society a little better for their having done so.

Cinkle wrote an “Internet Survival Guide” for kids and parents.

Katie Goldman’s IRL bullying inspired an entire movement at her school “Proud To Be Me Day,” across the nation and the globe (December 10th, 2010). I even got in on some of the action.

Bullies will be – wherever they can sniff out an easy target. So it’s up to the current generation and those waiting in the wings to make sure kids are not easy targets online. Taking a clue from Benni’s e-book and proactively managing the nastiness will go a long way in making that happen. As will rallying a strong supportive community around you when the cyber-bullies and the real bullies descend.


The Legend of Benni Cinkle

Rebecca Black Cyber Victim + her adorable interview with Good Morning America

A more comprehensive guide to cyberbullying for parents


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About tinyheroes

Mindy Crouchley is a 33 year old woman with a degree in English and Technical Writing from Portland State University. She has accumulated three+ years experience in the Marketing and Communications field - with an emphasis on creating digital media content. She has been reading comic books since she was 10 years old. She currently lives in outer southeast Portland with her spouse Dan Robertson, her baby girl, and their dog - Jabba the pug. She spends her free time devouring books, crafting cosplay, video gaming, attending comic cons, writing stories/screenplays, attending book to film adaptation club meetings, volunteering, and watching copious amounts of TV and movies.

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