Cyberbullying: Teen Social Life within the twenty first Century
In case you are the mum or dad of a teen or have a teen in your life, then you're surely accustomed to Twitter, MySpace, Fb, Tumblr, YouTube, and countless other social networking websites the place teenagers congregate. These websites have grow to be a “digital playground” the place anonymous teens engage in vicious bullying without even leaving the house. The bullying isn’t restricted to the internet though. Teens are being harassed by peers via mobile phone textual content messages also. The internet offers anonymity and permits bullies to have interaction in habits that would not be socially acceptable in a public forum. Sadly, the tragic story of Megan Meier, who committed suicide after enduring cyber-bullying, is an instance of seriousness of this problem. Megan’s loss of life delivered to gentle the necessity for legal guidelines to carry cyber bullies liable for their actions. In truth, this phenomenon has challenged many states (Texas, New Jersey, Oregon, California, Rhode Island, and New York) to establish laws to cope with cyber-bullying issues. There may be even a non-revenue foundation devoted to educating younger folks about internet security: i-SAFE Inc. Dad and mom want to talk with their teenagers about cyber-bullying and monitor what their teen is doing online.
An equally disturbing pattern is the physical assaults of friends that teens are videotaping for broadcast on the web. Not only does a victim endure bodily ache, he/she now must endure infinite humiliation as the beating is performed over and over again on in style websites corresponding to YouTube for thousands to see. There is a boomerang effect whereby the preliminary incident turns into fodder for hallway gossip at school, furthering the humiliation for the victim. In an interview with Folks journal for a narrative about a video beating of a Florida teen, Dr. James Garbarino (writer of a number of books on teen violence) stated, “Violence tends to become depersonalized when it’s on the Internet.”
The problems arising from cyber-bullying embody teen suicide, faculty violence, and melancholy. Mother and father of teens should be educated about cyber-bullying and ready to deal with these problems in the event that they arise. Most importantly, dad and mom should concentrate on their teen’s online actions and set limits on this regard.
[Article originally written May 2008]
1“Mean Ladies” by Jill Smolowe, Steve Helling, Siobahn Morrissey & Kristen Mascia in Folks Magazine, April 28, 2008