Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Cyber-Bullying

You know, it's amazing what people will say to someone online that they would never dare to say to that person's face. A lot of people seem to have the idea that online is a safe zone where they can say or do whatever they want without fear of consequences.

The problem is, it doesn't work that way.

That perceived "safety" is part of what leads to cyber-bullying, when someone is bullied through emails, instant messages, and social networks. The bullies might think that because it's online, it doesn't mean anything, or that they can't get in trouble for it because they didn't do anything in person. They might think that since it's just "words on a screen," they haven't done anything wrong, or that the victim is overreacting if they get upset.

The thing is, it's still bullying. And it's still harmful and hurts the victim at least as much as in-person bullying. Teenagers have committed suicide over cyber-bullying. My own daughter was a victim of it, from her father's then-girlfriend and the girlfriend's daughter, and wanted to die because of the things they were saying about her.

What's posted online DOES NOT GO AWAY. Something you post today will still be available for someone who knows the right cyber-tricks twenty years from now. And something you post about another person can follow them for the rest of their life.

Some places have made cyber-bullying a crime, or are considering it. Even though most cyber-bullying takes places outside school hours, some schools are following up on reports of it. The internet has many valuable uses, but unfortunately it's made it far too easy for people to harass one another.

Think before you type. How would you feel if someone posted that about you?

1 comment:

  1. Excellent post. Bullying is awful. Period. And online bulling especially. once it's out there, as the poster said, it will be available for always. I don't think some people realize the impact that bullying of any sort can have on the victim.

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