Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Cyber Bullies

I don’t like bullies. I mostly feel sorry for them. Can you imagine how pathetic your life would have to be if you felt the only way you could express yourself was to pick on people weaker than you?

Bullies in real life are mostly cowards. The best way to defeat a bully is to stand up to them. They feed off of fear and if you’re not afraid of them, they don’t know what to do.

Cyber bullies are a little different. Because they’re anonymous – or at least think they’re anonymous – standing up to them doesn’t really work. Schoolyard bullies want to hit people who won’t fight back. Cyber bullies want people to talk to them. If no one talked to them, they’d be invisible. The worst thing you can do to them is ignore them.

What I don’t understand is teenagers killing themselves over cyber bullies. I know teenagers love to be martyrs – everyone is out to get them, no one understands them, life is so hard on test days. When I was a teenager, people talked about suicide all the time – but it was just talk. Most of us knew that suicide was the stupidest way to solve a temporary problem.

Teenage bullies used to be limited to your own neighborhood. Now you can meet bullies from all over the world. The big difference to me – and where I really get lost in all this suicide over cyber bullies – is that bullies at school can be very hard to avoid. Bullies online are very easy to avoid. If someone at school is harassing you and the adults don’t care, you’re pretty much on your own. If someone online is harassing you, just ignore them. How do you get to a point where you think suicide is a solution but you never considered not going to that site anymore?

People shouldn’t have to stay away from certain websites just because of troublemakers, but if going to that site is really make your life so miserable, why keep going? Who is forcing these children to go to these websites?

Now some people want to outlaw some sites and send the owners to jail. Isn’t that like arresting the producers of a TV show because someone didn’t like it and killed themselves? Who is responsible when they don’t change the channel? Or better yet, turn off the TV and go outside once in a while.

2 comments:

  1. Young people have the web integrated with their lives now, Facebook is as regular as drinking water. If they are on sites which are somehow connected to their circle of friends, then it's a big deal and in your head all the time.

    Remarks are like tattoos – they (mostly) stay on permanently on the web, for anyone to see.

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  2. Hailey, here's another recent sad story..

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-23727673

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No hate, please. There's enough of that in the world already.