Through technology we are able to communicate easier with our friends, family and even people we don’t know. Most of us use our mobile phones and social networks on a daily basis; such as Facebook, email and blogging and would find life difficult without these means of communication. However, with all the praise that surrounds the World Wide Web, cyber bullying has become a major concern for victims and their families. “Go die, no one likes you, you suck” are just some of the nasty comments that can be posted on social networks. 58% of kids have admitted that they have received mean or hurtful comments online, and for 4 out 10 this has happened more than once retrieved from http://www.zonealarm.com/blog/index.php/2011/02/cyberbullying
Sadly, I learnt about the Australian teenager Olivia, who committed suicide. Olivia posted a video on her blog about her constant battles with dark thoughts and suicide, it backfired and received comments such as “better off dead; go away; pathetic girl’’ that led to her death. The saying “sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me,” did not apply to Olivia and highlights that anyone can be a target of cyber bullying.
When online, young people can hide behind the anonymity of the internet and do not feel as responsible for their online actions as they would in ‘real life’(Office for Internet, Safety and Barnardos, 2008 ). Home no longer is a safe haven because cyber bullying can happen any time. However, parents can prevent cyber bullying by getting involved in their child’s online life, e.g. the computer should be visible to parents while young people utilize them.
Office for Internet Safety & Barnardos. (2008). A guide to cyberbullying.Dublin: National CenterforTechnology in Education.http://www.rcysostenibilidad.telefonica.com/es/media/pdf/Get_with_it_Cyberbullying_Booklet.pdf
Cyberbullying: Bullies move from the Playground to The Playground to The Web Retrieved from http://www.zonealarm.com/blog/index.php/2011/02/cyberbullying