Take a Stand
Have you ever received a hurtful text message, or seen a nasty rumor about someone on twitter? Or ever received an embarrassing picture of someone via text message? Believe it or not, but these are all forms of cyber bullying, and cyber bullying is still a huge problem that exists today. In todays school we don’t really see kids getting shoved in lockers or kids getting physically abused. Instead of physical abuse, bullies are going an easier way to target their victims, so they turn to the computer or their cellphone to hurt them. In fact, according to a poll by Fight Crime: Invest, 1 in 3 teens has been the victim of cyber bullying (Kids Health). Cyber bullying is defined as “bullying that takes place using electronic technology, including devices and equipment such as cell phones, computers, and tablets as well as communication tools including social media sites, text messages, chat, and websites.” (stopbullying.gov) Based on the 2004 I-SAFE survey, out of 1500 students’ grades 4-8, 42% of kids have been bullied online, 35% of kids have been threatened online, and 21% of kids have received hurtful messages. (I-SAFE.org) These percentages are quite high, and the sad part is that this is just based on 1500 students. There could be so many other kids out there that have been cyber bullied but have not reported it. What many of us don’t realize is that cyber bullying can have many horrible affects on an individual’s life. Some effects like depression, low self esteem, and even as serious as suicide. Often times, the victim of cyber bullying can feel like they are alone in their struggle with their peers. They can start to develop low self-esteem, and begin to feel like they are not good enough. Cyber bullying can also cause depression and isolation. Victims of cyber bullying will start to remove themselves from school activities and begin not wanting to go to school. All of this leads to depression, in fact victims of cyber bullying report feeling more depressed than victims of typical face-to-face bullying (Depression High among Youth Victims) Ultimately all of this can lead to something as serious as suicide. In fact there have been many cases of suicides due to cyber bullying. It can get to the point so bad where kids feel hopeless and decide to take their own life. So how can we fix this problem or prevent it from happening? First of all don’t be a bystander, or don’t support cyber bullying. If you hear a nasty rumor about someone online, don’t go around spreading it, report it. We need to take a stand against cyber bullying. Tell an adult, get some help. Who knows you can make a difference, and end up saving someone’s life. In addition I think if there was an anonymous method of reporting cyber bullying web sites, profiles and campaigns, kids can help put an end to cyber bullying entirely. Also we need to remember to not be don’t be the bully yourself treat others how you would want to be treated. By being a jerk to others online, you are reinforcing the idea that the behavior is acceptable. Cyber bullying greatly impact someone’s life in a negative way. So next time you send a rude text message, or make a nasty comment on someone’s profile, remember that you are being a cyber bully, and remember that your words can hurt someone. Do you want to be the reason why someone decides to take his or her own life? Take a stand against cyber bullying. Remember that making a change starts by a single individual and you can be the start of something new.