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The Cyber Bully This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

The internet has been a part of my life ever since I could remember. When I was younger,it was almost impossible to load the games I wanted to play in a timely fashion. As I grew, so did the internet. High-speed internet became more widespread, even sweeping into my rural area and we used the computers more often for school projects. By the time I hit junior high, social media was on the up rise.

To say the internet was the cause of bullying would be a lie; however, the internet is an enabler for many students to become a bully—I have seen this first hand. A student who is typically shy or quiet when it comes to any sort of confrontation can stand up to someone who has bullied them through Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram without truly confronting the person. I personally I have never been a victim of cyber bullying, but I have a different perspective on the story—the bystander.

In the evenings after school is over, one of my favorite pass times is to scroll though my Facebook homepage. Sometimes I stop to read a friend’s post, but mostly I just look through the pictures. I was scrolling down the page when I noticed a set of two pictures side by side one with the title “This is beauty…” and bellow the title, a picture of the face of a girl who attended my church. The other picture, however, was titled “this is not…” The same girl was now posed in front of her mirror wearing tiny shorts and a tank top.

Appalled at what I was seeing, I scrolled through the comments posted under the pictures. The first one was a plea from the girl in the pictures asking whoever had posted such a cruel thing to stop. While I didn’t agree with her choice of clothing in the “this is not” picture, it was her choice and no one had the authority to criticize her, especially anonymously on Facebook. Whoever had posted these pictures had done something far worse than post a bad picture of themselves, they had publicly humiliated this girl on several forms of social media, because Facebook wasn’t the only website this bully had invaded.

As I scrolled down through more comments, I saw her mother posting how upset she was that anyone would post such things about her child. From my standpoint, I could not blame her. If it were my daughter, I would be just as upset. Several of the girl’s friends posted supportive comments saying that she was a beautiful girl and the person who posted it was the ugly one. And I couldn’t agree more.

I sat behind my laptop wondering what I could do. Sure I could comment on the pictures, but what would that solve? If she were being bullied in the hallway, I could easily have tried to help. This type of bullying left me just as helpless as the victim.

The week went on and more pictures appeared on the internet of “This is beauty…this is not!” The girl in the pictures pleas became more desperate. I could almost hear the pain in her voice as she begged the bully to just leave her alone, she didn’t even know who was doing this, she didn’t want to know all she asked was that they stopped. The pain the pictures had caused was no different than the pain that would have been inflicted from a bully shoving her into a locker, if anything the emotional hurt was worse.

After almost two weeks, the pictures stopped appearing and the girl was finally given some relief as the pictures that had been posted everywhere were deleted. I never discovered who had done this to her, it didn’t matter; I had learned an important lesson. Just because you are hiding behind a computer screen doesn’t mean that the words you type hurt any less than the words you speak. Cyber bullying is a serious issue that often goes unnoticed and unaddressed. As students of this technologically savvy generation, it is our job to take a stand and stop cyber bullying, without you so many other people could become victims to this very real form of bullying. Only we can stop cyber bullying. Are you up to the challenge?



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