In case you missed it, the hot topic of the day is “bullying.”
It is defined as “a: a blustering browbeating person; especially: one habitually cruel to others who are weaker.”
However, the term seems to have taken on a new life for many people who seem to be offended very easily these days.
Most famously, a La Crosse, Wisconsin, TV anchor claimed she was “bullied” because a man sent her an email telling her that she was obese and not a very good example on TV for young girls. She famously ripped into him on the air for almost four minutes and has received national exposure for it.
And now WDAF-Fox 4 TV anchor Katie Ferrell has told the emotional story of how she was crushed by a single email years ago and managed to survive. Just by looking at her, viewers might not think that she was the type that is often bullied or picked on or made fun of.
Whereas many TV journalists say nasty emails are almost a daily occurrence, one was almost one too many for Ferrell to handle.
In a blog post Ferrell outlined her own personal tragedy over an email sent to a station in Nebraska where she once worked.
“It was horrible, angry, condescending and mean. It said I was terrible, unprofessional,” she wrote. “The viewer said they couldn’t watch me, that I didn’t belong on TV. I was embarrassed and what haunts me today is that at the time I believed that person.”
How upset was Ferrell over the email?
“I considered leaving the business,” she noted. “And, I spiraled into one of the deepest depressions I’ve ever known. For three weeks I could barely get out of bed and then I decided I had a choice- I chose to believe in myself. And, to concentrate on getting better instead of believing the hateful words of one.”
Ferrell would not necessarily claim she was actually bullied, but the lone email came close. Luckily, her self-esteem was restored.
“She called that viewer a bully,” Ferrell, a University of Missouri J-school grad wrote about the Wisconsin anchor. “I never thought about it like that. I don’t know if I go as far as to call the man who wrote an e-mail a bully, but I do think it’s a reminder that words hurt- no matter what form they come in.”
Viewers might be forewarned about sending any nasty emails to Ferrell. She doesn’t seem to handle them very well.