By Christine Nguyen Contributing Writer Our generation uses Facebook as a war zone; people act rashly and don’t consider the negative repercussions their actions may have on others. It can be as simple as a misguided comment or a post on social media, but in the end there will be consequences. While a perpetrator is the catalyst both online and in real life, bystanders on the internet have a more active role to play. They can see the damaging posts or pictures and know what’s going on in the situation, but still make the decision to remain passive. The choice of the bystander leaves the injured party to fend for themselves with the knowledge that there’s a silent audience of hundreds, even thousands, that allow it to happen. Internet disputes cause more damage than real life counterparts because they’re permanent and public; Even the most impulsive decision or misunderstanding can lead to unfathomable consequences. Actions shouldn’t be based on anger or miscommunication; in the end, their regrets are as permanent and toxic as the pain they inflicted on others. Even a microscopic error can be unforgivable, because no amount of remorse can fully reverse a decision made in a moment of spite. It’s understandable that people make mistakes that end up getting back at them in the long run, but perpetrators can’t just pretend that they didn’t do anything wrong. Pretending hurts and only causes them to make the situation worse. Regrets get people nowhere in life and only make them miserable, so they need to own up to their indiscretion and accept it. Whether they do or don’t, their decision will follow them for the rest of their life. Life shouldn’t be about regrets and what ifs, because it’s too short and needs to be lived to a person’s heart content. If people dwell on what could have been, they’ll be wasting their time and energy, because a perpetrator is only human and will make errors in their life. There are plenty of actions that can be taken in situations where a perpetrator and victim weren’t always the perpetrator and victim, and choices must be made: whether they choose to forgive and forget or even decide to let go of the past. There’s so many actions that can be taken, and they all have consequences. Ramifications are just repercussions of a perpetrator’s actions, but that doesn’t mean they’re automatically atrocious. In the end, a consequence is based on the action that a person decided to make. People are free to make their own choices, as long as they can accept the consequences for it. Life is never easy, and neither is making a verdict in something that may possibly change everything. However, it needs to be done, because hesitating won’t make people happy. A perpetrator has to learn to respect themselves after all the lapses in judgements they’ve had. They can’t keep holding onto the past. Even the victim needs to be able to respect what the perpetrator has done if they ever wish to resolve their conflict. They may not agree with the actions of the other, but if a resolution is desired, then respect is key.