Cyberbullying: Teen Social Life within the twenty first Century
If you're the mum or dad of a teen or have a teen in your life, then you might be certainly conversant in Twitter, MySpace, Fb, Tumblr, YouTube, and countless different social networking websites where teens congregate. These sites have turn out to be a “digital playground” the place anonymous teenagers have interaction in vicious bullying without even leaving the house. The bullying isn’t restricted to the web though. Teens are being harassed by friends via cell phone text messages additionally. The web affords anonymity and permits bullies to interact in conduct that would not be socially acceptable in a public discussion board. Sadly, the tragic story of Megan Meier, who dedicated suicide after enduring cyber-bullying, is an instance of seriousness of this subject. Megan’s dying dropped at gentle the necessity for laws to carry cyber bullies accountable for their actions. In actual fact, this phenomenon has challenged many states (Texas, New Jersey, Oregon, California, Rhode Island, and New York) to determine laws to deal with cyber-bullying issues. There's even a non-profit basis devoted to educating young individuals about internet security: i-SAFE Inc. Dad and mom need to speak with their teens about cyber-bullying and monitor what their teen is doing on-line.
An equally disturbing trend is the bodily attacks of peers that teenagers are videotaping for broadcast on the internet. Not only does a sufferer suffer physical ache, he/she now must undergo endless humiliation because the beating is played again and again on widespread websites similar to YouTube for 1000's to see. There's a boomerang effect whereby the preliminary incident becomes fodder for hallway gossip at college, furthering the humiliation for the victim. In an interview with Individuals magazine for a story a few video beating of a Florida teen, Dr. James Garbarino (creator of several books on teen violence) stated, “Violence tends to change into depersonalized when it’s on the Web.”
The problems arising from cyber-bullying embrace teen suicide, college violence, and depression. Dad and mom of teenagers must be educated about cyber-bullying and prepared to deal with these issues if they arise. Most significantly, parents must concentrate on their teen’s on-line activities and set limits in this regard.
[Article originally written May 2008]
1“Mean Girls” by Jill Smolowe, Steve Helling, Siobahn Morrissey & Kristen Mascia in Folks Magazine, April 28, 2008