Cyber Bullying: Why you need to speak up!

February 20, 2012
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As Internet use by teens increases so does cyber bullying. A lot of people don’t realize how serious a problem cyber bullying really is. By definition a cyber bully is one who uses e-mail, cell phones, instant messaging, chat rooms, or social networking sites to threaten, harass, or intimidate someone. Cyber bullying is an easy issue to cover up because of the fact that it is not face to face. Even though cyber bullying is not face to face it may be the worst form of bullying there is. When someone is bullying over the Internet, they are unable to see the affect it has on their victims, which causes them to act more violently than they would in person. You can see how this could have a serious affect on the victim’s mental stability. Not knowing who is bullying you can make you feel trapped, confused, and sometimes even paranoid. Unfortunately because the technology and cyber bullying is relatively new, there aren’t many laws against cyber bullying. Some people don’t think that anything should be done about the problem. I have had many people tell me if someone says something bad about me over the Internet, I should either ignore it or say something bad back. Some people think you should either deal with the bullying or stop using the Internet and cell phones all together. I however, strongly disagree with this. I don’t see how innocent victims of cyber bullies should be told to give up social networks, e-mail, and other fun Internet activities. Why should the victims be punished just because some group of teens feel like having a little fun and spreading a bunch of rumors over the Internet? It’s the bullies themselves who should be penalized. Also, no one should be told to “deal with it”. Imagine breaking your arm. Then imagine being told to deal with the pain. No meds no nothing. Just deal with it. Doesn’t that seem cruel? Well, how is that any different from being harassed over the Internet? You still feel that pain and being told to deal with it doesn’t help. Now that analogy may be a little over dramatic, but it’s the truth and it’s time to take action.Something needs to be done about this. We can’t just sit back and pretend like nothing’s going on. It’s pretty clear the affects that cyber bullying has on people. Depression, social isolation, low confidence and sometimes even suicide are just some of the emotional trauma that the victims of cyber bullying are forced to endure. It’s not fair that people should be able to get away with such a heinous crime. There need to be laws against cyber bullying. The issue is never going to go away unless something is done. I believe that if we all do something to try and help solve this issue, something can be done. There are many bullies out there and a lot of times bullies become bullies because they were once bullied themselves. All it takes is for you to break the cycle. Don’t take it out on someone, because someone was mean to you. It’s pretty unlikely that bullying will stop all together. We all have those days where we say something we regret or maybe we got caught up in the gossip and spread something around that we probably shouldn’t have. But if you take that extra step to think before you post on Facebook or to think before you send that text, we can help stop cyber bullying and make spending time on the Internet a lot more enjoyable. Bullying is bullying and whether on the Internet or in person it can cause serious damage. Please, I encourage you to help educate others about the harmful effects of cyber bullying. If you know someone who is being cyber bullied, get a teacher, a counselor, your parents, or another trusted adult to help. Cyber bullying is a serious problem and it shouldn’t be ignored.

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