Words: Madhu Lal
Bullying and social interaction essentially go hand-in-hand. Almost everyone in our society has either experienced or encountered bullying at least once in their life. Many classes in schools have been created to help discourage kids from bullying. The consequences of bullying have also become harsher than they would have been ten years ago. Despite the best efforts of schools, bullying is still an epidemic that is spreading in schools. The Harford County Examiner reported in 2013 that, “Around half of teens have been the victims of cyber bullying.” Cyber bullying is a new form of bullying, which in some aspects can be seen as more dangerous than physical bullying.
Before the introduction of social media networking and texting, victims of bullying would be able to seek refuge at their homes, knowing that they could escape the perils of school bullying after the last bell rang. Most of the bullying going on in the past was face-to-face and took place in school. Bullying was a short lasting thing; once you graduated from that school, you were able to forget the bullies and move on and progress throughout life.
Victims in our generation are not as fortunate as the kids of the past. The introduction of texting, Facebook, Twitter, and Ask.fm have given bullies the opportunity to harass their peers, even when they aren’t in school. Victims are now not able to escape the misery they associate with school; they are followed around by streams of vicious texts and messages throughout the day and into the night. For our peers being ridiculed by others, there is no escape or safe haven they can go to in order to escape the vicious remarks.
As a result of 21st century bullying, lives are being shattered. Instead of the bullying being confined to schools, as it was in the past, bullying is now carried onto the Internet. There, the information stays permanent. Even though the information may be false, future colleges and employers may see the rumors or photos a bully has posted about the victim. As a result of seeing misleading information regarding the victim, that person may be turned down from job opportunities or denied from colleges.
If you or anyone you know is a victim of cyber bullying please contact an administrator or adult immediately, or visit the cyber bullying dropbox on the Centennial website (www.centennialeagles.org). To learn more about cyber bullying and how to prevent being a victim, visit stopbullying.org.