Today started out a pretty normal day for me. I woke up, went to work, graded papers, then came home to check my email and to go on Whyville, which I hardly have time for anymore. But as soon as I logged into Whyville, I saw that I had a ymail. "Hmm, I'm not familiar with this username. Probably a ymail helper question," I thought to myself. I clicked onto the ymail and out of habit looked to the girl's avatar. She seemed new to Whyville, as she still had the newbie parts and had a few designs laid on improperly. The message was pretty short. It read, "I went to South Beach and people were bullying me and some other newcomers. What's so bad about us Newbies?" I pondered the question in my mind a bit, unsure of what to say. What is so bad about Newbies? They are people. Just newer to Whyville.
People treat Newbies like they are bad people out to destroy Whyville. They don't bite. They are just people. A lot of people honestly need to think about this. Nothing is wrong with people, why even put a label on newcomers? Think of it this way: you and your best Whyville buddy, who we will call Jenny, are chatting. Jenny keeps making you laugh out loud, and roll on the floor laughing. She might just be that funny. Now imagine Jenny was a Newbie. Same person, just new to Whyville. She comes up to you, and tells you all the funny things that make you laugh. Maybe you secretly laugh. Maybe you shoo her off just to not be seen with a Newbie. Consider maybe liking somebody for who they are, not how young or old they are. Not how they look.
Now this doesn't mean go crazy and start a whole Newbie Protection Program! I see on people's City Records things that say "STN! Save the Newbs!" They are people! Normal people! They don't really need to be saved! They just need to be treated normal! Not horrible, not special, but like regular people. Don't judge people on how long they've been on Whyville. Just make friends with people who you have fun with and enjoy being around. Young or old, pretty or ugly, Oldbie or Newbie.
The point is that Newbies are people, not objects, or animals, or anyone who needs to be saved or bullied. Cyberbullying hurts. Often bad, even if its just a simple tease. Next time a Newbie tries to start a conversation, pretend that he or she isn't a Newbie and see past the avatar, break through the shell and discover an amazing personality waiting for somebody, anybody to accept him or her for who he or she is.