So this is my first post. This blog is simply for me to list thoughts that cross my mind. I hope that you can relate to them, but if not. oh well.

So i just read an article in the Oct 27, 2008 issue of Newsweek, and I just found out that Choi Jin Sil had committed suicide on Oct 2, 2008. The article mentioned how “cyberviolence” played a huge role in her recent depression, and a wave of hatred has entered the Korean public (via words, internet posts, comments etc.).

How sad.

For those of you who don’t know, Choi Jin Sil is a Korean actress. She’s been around since the late 1980’s and she was considered one of the best actresses of South Korea. Her nickname was “The Nation’s Actress.” So, for the longest time, she was revered, loved, and admired by the public. However, recently she found herself the subject of ugly rumors on the internet ranging from cosmetic surgery to her involvement in the suicide of another actor who had collected over $2 million in debt. 
Needless to say, she suffered substantially and, earlier this month, took her own life. What a shame. What have the people done. They traumatized The Nation’s Actress with malicious words, hiding behind the cowardly medium of the internet. 

Here at Claremont, we’ve experienced a similar phenomenon. A couple weeks ago, Claremont Confessions, an internet forum where ” Claremonters could vent, rant, talk, to their peers about things that might otherwise be considered taboo,” opened up to the community. The site was created to write anonymously on the internet about certain issues on a “controlled, semi-private environment than on an unmoderated, public site (as was happening and gaining momentum at the time.” I guess they had the right idea, but the site soon escalated to ugly rumors, hurtful comments, and inappropriate, and often false, content. Thanks to the anonymity, people could afford to say whatever they wanted, without fear of consequence, and they let it all out. 
It was pathetic.
Posts called certain girls sluts, ranked the hotness of guys, and listed the freshman girls who were easy to get into bed. People would say that they never looked at the site or would consciously avoid any contact with the content, but there were definitely people who took that shit personally. Feelings were hurt, self-esteems were shot, and a sense of insecurity rose among campus.
Now i’m not writing this to protect those who were hurt nor to defend those who had false comments stated about them. I don’t care about that. People are dumb and will say stupid things and there is really nothing to do about that. Generally, you can’t stop someone from saying what’s on their mind, so if you read something hurtful on those sites, get over it. 
I’m writing to talk about the issue of self-image. We are so worried about what others think about us, and its a serious hindrance in our daily lives. Of course, if someone close to you says something about you, offers constructive criticism, or simply shits on you for something you had done, you should definitely take that to heart. However, you shouldn’t listen to comments on an internet site where people are protected by anonymity. I had read on one of these sites, under the topic: Hottest couples at CMC?, that Wendy and I were one of them. Wendy and I do not go out, but in fact she dates one of my suitemates. Obviously someone made some ignorant comment about how two koreans who have some proximity are dating (idiot.). To top the cake off, the next post said “Jeff is a 4 out of 10.” At this, I had a very good laugh. Sure, there was an initial sting, but then, the thought that someone was sitting in front of their computer, eagerly reading this website, encounters this post, take some consideration to the thought of me, and then rate my looks was very amusing to me. 
I blew it off. I admit that I’m no Brad Pitt, but I know, as should you, that there’s much more to me than my looks. I looked to what I have accomplished, what I want to accomplish, my friends, my surroundings, and my character to know that I’m not doing half bad. I should probably be rated a 5 out of 10 then. 
I hope the world stops obsessing over what trivial people think of each other. I can write about how I hope there will be less hate in the world and how love prevails, but I know that people will be mean, selfish, inhumane, etc. Once you accept this sad truth, you can start working to distance yourself from it and realizing that what they say really doesn’t matter and ultimately doesn’t affect your life. Do what makes you happy, and happiness will soon follow. Sounds obvious, but it’s surprising to see how many people doubt it.