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How To Deal With Cyberbullying

Cyber bullying is the use of cell phones, instant messaging, email, chat rooms or social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter to harass, threaten or intimidate someone. Cyber bullying is often done by children, who have increasingly early access to these technologies. The problem is compounded by the fact that a bully can hide behind an electronic veil, disguising his or her true identity. This secrecy makes it difficult to trace the source and encourages bullies to behave more aggressively than they might face-to-face.

Cyber bullying can include such acts as making threats, sending provocative insults or racial or ethnic slurs, gay bashing, attempting to infect the victim’s computer with a virus, and flooding an email inbox with messages. If you are a victim, you can deal with cyberbullying to some extent by limiting computer connection time, not responding to threatening or defamatory messages, and never opening email messages from sources you do not recognize or from known sources of unwanted communications. More active measures include blacklisting or whitelisting email accounts, changing email addresses, changing ISPs, changing cell phone accounts, and attempting to trace the source.

A common form of online bullying is called “bullying by proxy”. Bullying by proxy involves someone who starts the process and then encourages others join in and participate. Bullying by proxy can be especially dangerous because it increases the intimidation factor and adults may get involved with the harassment and it can lead to stalking and other potential crimes.

In the past bullying used to be done by groups using pressure tactics, body language, exclusion and shunning. There are incidents where people and organizations stupidly accepted bribes to do this. The processes that led to what could be viewed as a form of bullying by proxy. There are some high profile court cases that have led to extensive jail terms by the perpetrators. However, it will not help the victims who lost their money, both individuals and organizations.

The methods are diverse, they can take the form of:

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  • flaming – using over-the-top, filthy, accusative, offensive language;
  • belittling – posting cruel gossip intending to harm someone’s reputation;
  • harassment – sending constant and endless hurtful and insulting messages to someone;
  • stalking – taking harassment to the level of threatening someone’s safety;
  • trolling – provoking people to anger to attempt to get them to inappropriately respond;
  • impersonation or imping – an imp pretends to be another person online in order to get that person in trouble or embarrass him or her;
  • outing – finding personal and embarrassing information about a person and using this to blackmail or harass them by threatening to reveal it online;
  • phishing – tricking a person into revealing personal and financial information.

The methods used by perpetrators is only limited by their imagination and emerging social media.

Parents can deal with cyber bullying by telling their children not to engage in online arguments. Ignored bullies are ineffective, but it takes a strong person to do this and can be a disaster. Keep a file of the bullying activities including posts, emails and messages. These can be tracked and when it comes time to confront the bully or the bully’s parents you have a record. People can be blocked, sites can be alerted, and forums monitored. If forums and sites will not cooperate, leave them behind and find ones that will. Remember: never share personal information with open forums and in unsecured chat rooms.

In some cases, it may be advisable to inform the local police department or consult an attorney. It is not recommended that you retaliate in kind because such behavior can lead to heightened attacks, or even civil actions or criminal charges against you.

If you are not sure what to do and how to handle cyber bullies I would refer to the resource at the top of this article http://www.stopbullying.gov/index.html. Have you been the victim of cyber bullying?  What advice would you share?

Kim Artlip Named As TEDx Vero Beach Speaker

Former New Martinsville native Kim (Stoneking) Artlip has been announced as a featured speaker at TEDxVero in Vero Beach, Florida on Saturday, October 19th.  Artlip who has made a name for herself as one of the few women owner/promoters in independent professional wrestling will be on hand.  She’s an author, columnist, former talk show host, speaker, an entrepreneur who has been recognized for her work as a 2018 Woman Of The Year Nominee.

Her talk will center on motivating women to overcome stigmas that have kept females from top executive positions in business and sports.  Her company, IGNITE Wrestling, is recognized as one of the elite independent companies in sports entertainment in the state of Florida drawing performers internationally.  

TEDxVero = independently organized event.

In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TED Talks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized. (Subject to certain rules and regulations.)

ABOUT TED

TED is a nonprofit organization devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading. Started as a four-day conference in California 30 years ago, TED has grown to support its mission with multiple initiatives. The two annual TED Conferences invite the world’s leading thinkers and doers to speak for 18 minutes or less. Many of these talks are then made available, free, at TED.com. TED speakers have included Bill Gates, Jane Goodall, Elizabeth Gilbert, Sir Richard Branson, Nandan Nilekani, Philippe Starck, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Sal Khan and Daniel Kahneman.

The annual TED Conference takes place each spring in Vancouver, British Columbia. TED’s media initiatives include TED.com, where new TED Talks are posted daily; TED Translators, which provides subtitles and interactive transcripts as well as translations from volunteers worldwide; the educational initiative TED-Ed. TED has established The Audacious Project that takes a collaborative approach to funding ideas with the potential to create change at thrilling scale; TEDx, which supports individuals or groups in hosting local, self- organized TED-style events around the world, and the TED Fellows program, helping world-changing innovators from around the globe to amplify the impact of their remarkable projects and activities.

Follow TED on Twitter at http://twitter.com/TEDTalks, or on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/TED.

Never Too Old To Dream

I was told recently that my time as a wrestling promoter was going to be short lived due to my age.  I’m only 55.   Umm, what does age have to do with it?  I have no intention of going out there and doing a swanton or super kick.  I’m the person behind the scenes making sure the show goes on so what does age have to do with it?

Not a damn thing.

Age really is just a number.  You are never too old to chase a dream. Here are some of the people that drive and inspire me that didn’t find their groove till later in life.  

Women and men alike are realizing we have many years and miles left on us.  We are making changes and breaking free.  If you want to look at women who made major life changes later in life look at Dara Torres. She captured the hearts and minds of Americans of all ages when she launched her Olympic comeback as a new mother at the age of forty-one—years after she had retired from competitive swimming and eight years since her last Olympics. When she took three silver medals in Beijing—including a heartbreaking .01-second finish behind the gold medalist in the women’s 50-meter freestyle—she became a role model not only for women but for older women who realized their prime didn’t stop at 35 or 40.

At age 35, Diamond Dallas Page entered the fabled WCW “Power Plant” and soon after became the oldest rookie in pro wrestling history

Page’s incredible work ethic, training regimen and preventative maintenance along with unmatched personal focus and determination, enabled him to battle the hands of time and stay healthy enough to wrestle men half his age for years to come. 

Legendary boxer Rocky Marciano was a late bloomer who did not have his first professional fight until he was 25 years old. He participated in a series of amateur fights at Fort Lewis whilst he was finishing his service, but the jump up to the pros did not faze him like it would many others who came late to boxing. Amazingly, Marciano would win his first 16 fights by knockout, and he would then go on to win the world heavyweight championship in 1952. Marciano defended his title an impressive six times, with five of these won by knockout. Rocky Marciano, who started out playing football and baseball, would go on to a 49-0-0 record (43 by knockout).

Mae Young is a legend, period. She started her career back in 1939 when she was just 16 years old. She then saw a string of eras in the professional wrestling business and still managed to be a standout performer in all of them.

However, it was not until 1999 when Mae Young made her WWE debut. She was 76 years old at that time and made her debut in a tag team match alongside another legend, The Fabulous Moolah.

And look at Sting for another one making waves.  Sting had numerous chances and big offers to come to WWE and have some dream matches but then again it took him more than a decade to finally reach an agreement with WWE. Sting made his WWE debut against Triple H at WrestleMania 31 and when he wrestled the match, he was 55 years old.


Tosca Rena was once a 40-something, 204-lb teacher going through a painful divorce. She lost weight using a treadmill, but was still flabby. Fitness publisher Robert Kennedy, the father of one of her students, challenged her to weight train and enter a physique contest. As she got stronger and more confident, she also submitted articles to him. 

Randy Coutre entered the world of MMA in 1997 when he was already 33 years old. That didn’t stop him from setting an all-time record for most appearances in UFC bouts (15), and at nearly 44 years of age, to become the oldest fighter to ever win a UFC championship.
Fauja Singh ran the London marathon for the first time at age 86. He went on to compete in eight more.  The “Turbaned Tornado’s” best time was 5 hours and 40 minutes in the 2003 Toronto marathon. Among his many records, he is the oldest person to run a marathon (at age 100), the fastest male over the age of 90 to run a marathon, fastest (over age 100) to run the 5,000 meters, the fastest (over 100) to run the 3,000 meters. Finally in 2013, he decided to retire at age 101 after finishing the Hong Kong Marathon’s 10k race.

It comes down to not using your age as an excuse.  There is no perfect age, no perfect day, time,  or place. Simply the desire to put it all out there and make the moves and take the steps that are needed to see your dreams come true. Until next time, ignite your fire, and follow your dreams.

Permission Is For Pansies

Naturally I have been glued to the WWE Network as the world turned its attention to Wrestlemania the past few weeks.  I was excited for the Hall Of Fame ceremony due to the inclusion of Torrie Wilson.   I’ve long admired her ability to adapt and thrive and her induction speech was certainly motivational.

During her induction speech Wilson talked about being shy as a young girl, but that she had to develop a confident persona in order to succeed in the wrestling business. Wilson then gave some tips for the people watching in the crowd and along at home about how to create their own confident persona, and took a jab at the online critics who said she “didn’t deserve” a Hall of Fame spot for her years as a WWE Diva.

“First thing you’ve got to do is realize that permission is for pansies,” Wilson said. “We don’t need anyone’s permission to be who we are, and we don’t need permission to be who want to be. I didn’t ask the guy who said ‘Torrie Wilson doesn’t belong with the WWE Hall of Fame’ if he thought it was okay if I still went anyway. And I didn’t ask the guy that was up there booing me [pointing to the higher seating in the arena] telling me I suck if he deemed me worthy of lacing up my wrestling boots and giving it a try the next night. Because neither would’ve said yes but neither one was the one stepping in this ring.”

This got me thinking about what she said.  Are we waiting for permission to take the next step in our dreams or careers?

As I was preparing to write this I came across older article on Shebrand.com and it’s pretty accurate still.  You don’t need permission to do your great work in the world. From a very young age many of us were told to respect our elders, listen and obey authority. Unfortunately, this can squelch creativity, stifle independent thinking and cut you off from your own voice.

In school we were told to play by the rules, do our homework and follow the leader. Surely there were repercussions if we didn’t color within the lines.

Our peers told us how to dress, how to speak and what it looked like to be cool. If we strayed from the so-called norm, we risked ridicule, or even worse, ostracism.

Our own parents were often disturbed and quick to anger at our attempts to exert our independence.

Is it surprising that we often default to asking for permission?

You don’t need to ask anyone’s permission to live your life.  But sometimes this little thing called Fear creeps up and sabotages your best laid plans and dreams. It can take many forms, such as procrastination, addiction, boredom or distraction. Whatever it takes to pull you away from your great work; the work you know deep down you are meant to do in the world.

What if waiting to ask for permission is just an excuse? What if it’s nothing more than an internal ploy to keep you from stepping into your power?

Torrie Wilson didn’t have everything handed to her.  She overcame shyness, eating disorders and more to morph herself into her own superhero.  It wasn’t until Wilson started to believe in herself, change her inner negative talk and dare to speak her dreams out loud, that she found the success she enjoys today.  She grabbed control and took the power that life and opportunities gave her and has built a career as a motivational speaker, 

She is proof that permission is for pansies as she has grown and evolved as an athlete, entrepreneur, fitness expert, model, spokesperson, and motivational speaker.  She didn’t listen to the critics, she didn’t cringe and run when she struggled.  She used her strength, courage and inner power to take control of her life.  Hopefully we can all be more like her and inspire others. 

She said fear only has one enemy, and that is a confident persona.  She showed us a confident, strong woman who stood in front of millions on Saturday night just mere days after the unexpected death of her father showing us all that strength and confidence she has.  She’s more than the sum of her accomplishments.  She’s simply amazing and we should all follow her example and stop waiting for permission to be who we are meant to be in life.  Until next time, ignite your fire, and follow your dreams.

Let’s Break The Mold

After seeing the title of this week’s column, do I now clearly have your attention?  Ahem.  Let me clear my throat so you clearly hear/read what I’m about to talk about today.  It’s time for us to break the mold and step out from behind the stereotypes and company models that we all know.  It’s time to be unique.

Your voice will be heard and you can get your voice out there but you don’t need all the theatrics, bullying, coattail riding and other tactics.  We need to take a step back as promoters and wrestlers to fight for what is right in our business.  We have too many people who have no focus or vision or they are being bullied around by others who want only one way of running the indies.

Guess what?  We don’t all have to have the same vision, the same wrestlers, the same promo styles, etc.  Do you know why?  We are our own separate brands, businesses and no two are the same.  We aren’t WWE, IMPACT or even ALL IN.  We are our own brand and with that we have the awesome task of creating something unique that just us.  Why else do you think I hashtag my social media with #weareignite?  Because we are our own entity apart and separate from our peers.  Each company bringing their own special spin and voice to the sport, no two alike.

You may not know this but I wrote an ebook that is published on Amazon called One Woman Army.  It spoke briefly about this but when I was in the creation and research steps of launching IGNITE Wrestling I received some fairly shitty advice.  Suddenly people came out of the woodwork with all these ideas and suggestions how IGNITE (at that point it wasn’t named that yet) would be the RAW of the east coast and have a certain style.  But it didn’t feel right to me.

Now don’t get me wrong, I love Monday Night Raw but why would I want to be a bargain basement version (budget-wise) of something I would never have the resources to become.  Before long it was apparent that everything suggested was just the same shit different day.  No one could see anything other than being an ECW ripoff or PWG clone.  I don’t want to be Whatever Wrestling Version 2.  I wanted to be something that mine and not just pretending to be the FL version of something already out there.

Which brings me back to the title of this week’s column again. It totally get it that there are people that won’t ever or are afraid to dream or imagine something past what has already been done.  That’s your path but don’t crap and kick out at people who don’t want to be on that particular journey.  At the end of the day, we are small businesses and each one is different.   

I totally get that we are all riding high on the aftermath of ALL In and we are all excited about what we can do but why does it have to be an imitation.  Just look at all the posters and play on words similar to ALL IN out there right now in the indies.  Why aren’t we looking for something individual that will give us an edge in our area?  Seriously, how many havoc, haunted and madness events do we have to have all in a 100 mile radius this week using the same poster template?  

We have a gazillion fast food restaurants and while many may seem familiar such as burger, mexican, chicken, pizza and seafood – each is its own brand.  They have their own hashtags, color schemes, logo and way of doing business.  Just like indy wrestling.  Every company should be putting their own spin on their business to stand out.  

We need to as promoters, managers, and wrestlers to stand out and find our voice.  Work on your graphics, make your gear unique and take time to develop a gimmick.  You don’t have to be generic copies of each other.  Your company is as unique and individual as a snowflake so let the world see it.  Evolve and change your look as you go.  You don’t have to stay in a rut but you can grow and develop into your vision.

It’s not ego, it’s not even being selfish to focus on yourself as a wrestler or company.  You are a small business and you need to break the mold and do things your way.  There are no rules that say you have to follow a specific timeline, have certain titles or even have champions if you choose not to.  It’s your company. It’s your dream.  It’s your vision, no one else’s.

Hopefully now you will think hard about how you are going to march to the beat of your very own drum and create something that is yours and sets you apart.  Till next week, ignite your fire, and follow your dreams. 

Kim Artlip Nominated For Jr League Woman Of The Year

IGNITE Wrestling Owner Kim Artlip has been selected as a 2018 Woman Of The Year nominee under the Business Professional category.  She is one of the twenty plus women announced by the JR League of Indian River as part of the 6th Annual Woman Of The Year event.

Woman of the Year celebrates the accomplishments of women in Indian River County. Nominated by their peers, A Woman of the Year nominee is a woman who demonstrates high ethical standards personally, is a recognized role model, has a strong sense of community responsibility and is outstanding in her contributions within Indian River County. 

There are four categories in which a woman can be nominated. Those women include:

Business Professional – A woman who is self-employed or employed by a for-profit business or corporation. She is recognized for her outstanding service in her field and significant contributions to the community through her profession.

Civic Professional/Non-Profit – A woman who is employed by a non-profit or community organization funded primarily by municipal, county, state, or federal grants or funds donated by the general public. Her contributions to the community take place in this arena.

Volunteer – A woman who has a history of an outstanding, continuing commitment to her community through her volunteer services.

Rising Star – A young woman between the ages of 17 and 25 who demonstrates outstanding commitment to her field of employment and/or community with fresh ideas, energy, and enthusiasm.

Nominees are judged by the West Palm Beach Junior League chapter. A winner is chosen from each category, and then the overall Woman of the Year is chosen from those nominees during awards luncheon to be held on April 18th at the Moorings Yacht and Country Club in Vero Beach, FL.

“I am honored to have been selected as a nominee as a part of such an esteemed class of community leaders,” said Kim Artlip, Owner, IGNITE Wrestling. “I look forward to this transformational experience to gain a deeper understanding from a business and community standpoint; develop relationships with my fellow nominees as well as key influencers across Florida, and use this knowledge to help shape IGNITE Wrestling’s business strategies and continue our mission of reestablishing Vero Beach as a sports destination.”

In addition to being the owner of IGNITE Wrestling,  Kim was the talent booker until 2017 and is presently still in her original role as the sports promoter who is responsible for overseeing the creative development of all IGNITE Wrestling streaming media, pay-per-view programming, marketing, print, digital and social media content. 

Kim began her foray into sports entertainment as a talk radio show host of Wrestle Talk on the iHeart Radio network, while also developing her media skills. Kim’s growth and development spans over multiple business areas including her role as Executive Director of the nonprofit parent company IGNITE Advocacy Inc as well as producing the vast majority of the company’s video content and graphic media.  She has lead the wrestling startup into the streaming sports entertainment arena as one of the few wrestling companies worldwide to be an Official Twitch Partner which is bestowed on less than 1% of all Twitch broadcasters (1.7 million plus).

About IGNITE Wrestling

IGNITE Wrestling, a subsidiary of IGNITE Advocacy, is a leader in Florida sports entertainment as one of the original Official Twitch Partners.  IGNITE Wrestling is owned by Kim Artlip, one of only a handful of female owner/promoters in professional wrestling. The company is headquartered in Vero Beach, FL and is the Treasure Coast’s only pro wrestling company.