Teens today are enjoying the cyber age. Information and communication right in the palm of their hands. Going through a day of school is a breeze for these adolescents with all that technology has to offer. Unfortunately, bullying, irresponsible sexual behavior and coming out as gay, lesbian or transgendered, are problems confronting teens daily. Bullying involves a person or a group of persons constantly attacking a person who is weaker or more vulnerable. These attacks can occur in-school or through cyberspace. In-school bullying can be physical, mental or a combination of both. Deleterious teasing and taunting, name calling, hitting and stealing or destroying property are examples of direct attacks. There are also indirect attacks that are more subtle which involve spreading rumors and encouraging others to reject and ignore someone. “Almost 30 percent of teens in the United States (or over 5.7 million) are estimated to be involved in school bullying as either a bully, a target of teen bullying, or both”(FamilyFirstAid.org). The effect of this bullying can leave a teenager feeling tense, anxious and afraid. Teen bullying can lead to serious mental health issues such as suicidal thoughts and thoughts of violent revenge. The permanent mental health damage can be low self-esteem issues and self-worth. Cyber has taken bullying to an extreme. Teens are now using social networking sites such as Facebook and Myspace “to harass, threaten, embarrass or target another person”(kidshealth.org). In some cases cyber-bullying can be obvious such as leaving veraciously mean cell phone text messages or cruel notes posted on social networking sites. Cyber-bullying can also involve impersonating the victim, posting personal information or a video which is intended to embarrass and hurt another teen. The effects of this behavior go beyond in-school bullying because it can go on 24 hours a day and there can be no escaping the torment. This leaves teen victims with mental...
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