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April 5, 2011
I continued with my normal Thursday routine as I lied out on my bed, with my homework scattered everywhere. I multi-tasked by logging onto Facebook and searching for my math-book. The first thing that popped onto my computer screen when I got onto Facebook was a link to a video shared by one of my friends to one of their friends; so naturally my curiosity made me click it. The title “Rebecca Black- Friday Offical Music Video” meant nothing to me at the time, but little did I know I would be hearing and seeing that name at least fifty times in the next 72 hours. I watched the first 30 seconds of the video and I listened. I didn’t know exactly what to make of it. It was a girl who looked about thirteen singing about “partying on Friday and looking forward to the weekend.” Her repetition of the words “fun fun fun fun” and her incorrect grammar, “we we so excited” made me chuckle, but I never thought to myself “wow, this is the worst song ever,” as I later found out tens of thousands of teens across the country did when they first saw it. I thought nothing of it except a teen trying to get her 15 minutes of fame, until I went to school the next day.

At school immediately everyone was talking about Rebecca Black and her video. In first period the mumbling below the teacher was filled with everyone asking their friends if they had seen the video. In second period it was students explaining to each other how “horrible” the videowas. And finally in third one kid played the video on the projector for the class and everyone ridiculed it. I left school that day disliking the video more than I had the day before, but mostly just because its repetitive lyrics and annoyingly catchy tune were stuck in my head.

As I logged onto Facebook to fulfill after school daily dose of social networking, my newsfeed was once again bombarded with posts about Rebecca Black and the video. Some people shared the link to the video with their friends, others made statuses filled with quotes from the song lyrics, and many just wrote about how much they hated it. Hundreds of my friends from all across the country, mostly high schoolers, were ridiculing this poor girl and her video. Seeing first hand all of the hate that was being spread about her I decided that I wouldn’t judge her, like everyone else was doing, until I knew a little more about her.

After Googling her name I found video interviews of her on Good Morning America and tens of articles about her. However, all this press was not only about how her video went viral over the internet and racked up 34 million hits, but what the viewers were commenting on the video. I thought it was bad how people were making fun of her at school, but I soon realized that the worst was what they were saying essentially “to her face” by commenting on her video. “I hope you cut yourself, and I hope you'll get an eating disorder so you'll look pretty!” was something that one commenter wrote. I couldn’t believe my eyes at the horrible things that were being said. Her video had thousands of comments and most that I could see were extremely negative.

I know that in the 21st century almost every celebrity has “haters”, or people who complain about their music, style, personality or actions, but I didn’t see the people who were harshly criticizing Rebecca Black as targeted audience members expressing their opinions. In the case of this thirteen-year-old named Rebecca Black, the commenters on her video were not giving constructive criticism. I didn’t even feel as though they were criticizing her at all, they were going beyond that. I knew something else was going on, but I didn’t know what until I realized that...

Rebecca Black is a victim. A victim of cyber-bulling. The same cyber-bulling that has driven several teens to suicide across the country in the past couple years. The same cyber-bulling that I witness every single day when I log onto Facebook. I see comments posted every minute that are directed towards someone else and intended to damage their self-esteem. People comment on pictures telling them they look horrible, or they write statuses making fun of others for all of their friends to see. Everywhere you turn on social networking sites- and even sites like YouTube that aren’t entirely meant for social networking- there is cyber-bulling.

Now don't get me wrong. I admit like social networking sites; no, wait, I love them! I’m addicted to social networking sites just as much as the next teenager. I know they can be great for chatting with old friends, sharing pictures with relatives and much more, but I believe that young adults and especially teens need to be aware of what they are posting and saying on theses sites and how what they say will affect other people.

Today, technology is evolving so fast that we have to work to keep up with it. If we’re going to make sure that the advancement of technology has a positive influence on our society, we need to learn how to adjust our behavior. The teens who were driven to suicide this past year due to cyber-bulling were a wake-call for many people showing them how hurtful cyber-bulling can really be. And seeing how hurt Rebecca Black was after being cyber-bullied was a wakeup call for me, because I realized that millions of people still don’t understand how dangerous cyber-bulling is. If we don’t educate the teenagers of our nation they may never realize how their actions affect others; if we want to keep YouTube and social networking sites beneficial to our society we need to make teenagers aware of the dangers of cyber-bulling. If we want to ensure that our youth of today and therefore our leaders of the future use technological advancements to better society, there is no better place to start than with getting rid of a serious problem in the world today: cyber-bulling.

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