Why you gotta be so mean?

The annual quad-header between New Trier and Loyola took place last Sunday, and, needless to say, things got contentious.

The quad is like New Trier’s version of Wilmette’s Friday Night Skate or the right side of Perry’s at Lollapalooza. It’s always overhyped and everyone feels an obligation to go. And while I’m not trying to say that it isn’t fun, I’m just saying the hype around it is kinda stupid.

Look, I get it. Rivalries are fun and in good spirit, but the offensive rhetoric coming from both sides that takes place every year at the quad, as well as before it—often through social media—tends to cross the line.

But it’s not just through this game that we see cyber-bullying at its peak—it’s happening everywhere.

On Monday, Pete Davidson posted a note on his Instagram that described how he was fed up with the hate he was receiving on the internet. Despite previously announcing that he struggles with numerous mental disorders, people who have never met him continue to be incredibly mean to him, seemingly for no reason.
After all, part of the culture these days is just to be offensive, even to those we don’t know.

In the new Wreck-It-Ralph movie, Ralph explores a 3D version of the internet, and to make money, he starts to make viral YouTube videos. I promise you this connects to the quad and Pete Davidson.

He’s having a good time until he looks at the comments on his videos. The first few comments praise him, but then the next few are devastating; not only is Ralph now sad, he is genuinely confused at how people seemed to think that it was acceptable to be so offensive.

After all, the videos were just of him eating spicy wings and doing other dumb stuff, but, nevertheless, people felt the need to comment instead of simply ignoring it.

Back to the Loyola v. New Trier rivalry—I get that it is tradition to make up chants or Facebook posts about people’s appearance or whatever, but they are at times just unnecessarily mean.

Like Monica Lewinsky, who is literally the most cyberbullied person ever, said in her TED talk, “Cruelty to others is nothing new. But online, technologically enhanced shaming is amplified, uncontained, and permanently accessible.”

There is so much unnecessary negative energy in this school, and instead of just being nice, people take the harder route and are mean, even if they don’t realize it.

“Ghosting” or lying to people over text can affect them in the same way as it would in person—and these instances are documented, which can at times be even worse.

Because we can’t see people like Pete Davidson or Monica Lewinsky when they stumble upon a comments section, we think it doesn’t affect them, and thus the sense of sympathy is gone. This is especially true for people who claim not to be bullies, yet with the internet actually find themselves amidst the worst of them.

We do things that we wouldn’t feel comfortable doing in person because Twitter, along with just the platform of a cell phone in general, has made it acceptable to do so.

Instead of getting along with Loyola kids—which we managed to do in junior high—we opt to hate them, and this ends up hurting everyone in the long run. If someone isn’t with us, they are against us.

We do this in a way because it is a “tradition” to be really mean, but that is even more dumb.

While we all hold hatred towards certain people or things, it can be more harmful than we realize. The inability to tolerate people who are different from you contributes to a toxic environment not only in this school, but in this country.

Even if someone is mean to you, try and do what Drake did after he was dissed by Pusha-T. Use that same energy to do productive things, such as making a fire album like “Scorpion,” instead of going right back at them with a diss track of your own.