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May 22, 2012
By SD_Massey BRONZE, Saint Louis, Missouri
SD_Massey BRONZE, Saint Louis, Missouri
1 article 0 photos 0 comments

“Mean what you say, and say what you mean” is the phrase that almost everyone ignores, especially when they’re angry and need to vent. It may seem like letting your anger out on Facebook or Twitter is harmless, but really you could be hurting the feelings of a harmless teen on the other side of the web. Even though you are just telling your friends about the hideous situations in your day, anything can happen on the internet thus causing the chain reaction of cyber-bullying.

According to a 2010 article written by Ph.D. Sameer Hinduja and Ph.D. Justin W. Patchin Co- Directors of the Cyber-bullying Research Center, youth suicide continues to be a significant public health concern in the United States. Their studies have shown that all forms of harassment have increased the likelihood of an adolescent attempting suicide. 1.9% of the victims that are included in cyber-bullying are most likely to do suicide, and 1.7% of traditionally bullied victims are most likely to do suicide. This means that the thought and pressure of suicide in teenagers has risen 0.2% in the year of 2010 because of cyber-bullying.

There are many types of ways someone can get bullied through technology: text messaging, email, instant messaging, and even social networking such as Facebook or Twitter. Most teenagers have probably never thought about cyber-bullying or even realized that they were doing it. Thinking that they are just letting out anger to one another, they continue to hurt the feelings of a fellow class mate, friend, or even family member. “I didn’t think that cyber-bullying was really a big deal,” my best friend a student at Gateway Institute of Technology, “since it never happened to me, I have never given it much thought.”

Cyber-bullying affects teens mentally and emotionally. Therapist Marie Hartwell-Walker ED.D. stated that "the average teen in America now spends 7 hours a day on social networks causing boundaries, restraint, and courtesy to be broken between them." The more we use Facebook and Twitter, the bigger the possibility of getting involved in cyber-bullying. Like a chameleon, cyber-bullying can be shown in different forms. Many teens that know about it thinks that it’s just talking about someone in a terrible way, but it's much more than that. It's a way for teens to affect other teens through the comfort of technology. "I use Facebook everyday" says a student at Soldan International Studies High School, "and I do think that social networks are one of the reasons for teen suicide."

The author's comments:
This article was was originally written for my science class. We had to use something from everyday life and create a science article from it. I hope this fascinates you as much as it did my class.

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