It took a while before Eileen (my wonderful roommate) and I decided what topic we wanted to focus on in our documentary. We skipped around from dreaming, to cyber-bullying, to stress, and then back to cyber-bullying. The cyber-bullying problem always struck home to me because I’ve known so many victims (but don’t we all?). In fact, I was a target at one point. I dated this guy whose friends despised me, so they used to make nasty comments on my pictures. I’m only admitting it because it seems so silly now; how could I get so worked up over people who I considered idiots?
My cousin was victimized, as well. Someone posted a picture of her and her friend on Facebook, and a few people began to post crude comments. And my cousin was only 12 years old when this happened. Thankfully, she’s strong-willed and approached one of her school’s counselors about it.
Cyber-bullying, although a seemingly harmless problem, has become an epidemic amongst the younger generations. They’re so susceptible to raw emotions (thanks to hormones and puberty) that nasty comments gnaw at them. Megan Meier, a 13 year old girl, was bullied to the point that she hanged herself in her closet. Although Megan’s story is tragic, it reminds us that this is a huge issue which effects approximately 35% of teens (it’s hard to get a specific number, so I’ll have to look into it).
So why is cyber-bullying so effective and popular? Behind the computer, everyone’s strength suddenly flares and an unknown courage is found; it’s easy to type up a mean comment and click send. Suddenly, someone can say a nasty comment that they were thinking before without having to worry about facing the person’s reaction. A cyber-bully may believe that his/her comments are only words, but those words can tear the victim apart. A victim can hardly escape the ridicule, as well. Unlike playground bullying, cyber-bullying follows the victim home; it constantly tortures the victim.
Megan’s story is horrifying, but the sad reality is that she’s not alone. Eileen and I want to shed light on the effects of cyber-bullying. Some might be as simple as blocking a person online and moving past the situation. Other times, the victim might lash out against the bully (which only creates more negative attention). But sometimes, in very particular and certain situations, the victim might be pushed too far. Without cyber-bullying, the internet might feel like a safer place for teens to enjoy themselves and fully open up; first, the cyber-bullying must end.