Posts Tagged ‘Cyberbullying’

It's real. It destroys lives. And you can help stop it.

It’s real. It destroys lives. And you can help stop it.

Almost every week, it seems, we hear of another tragedy where a young person (it’s usually a young person, battling their twin demons of peer pressure and their self-expectations, not to mention their hormones) kill themselves because of the cruelty of cyberbullying.

Cyberbullying is especially pernicious and awful. It is often soul-destroyingly harsh – people say things they would never say to people face to face – and it often spreads seemingly inexorably, backing the young person who is being victimised into a corner, feeling that they will never be free of the curse.

Young people reporting cyberbullying sadly sometimes don’t find themselves taken seriously. “It’s just words on a phone, ignore it” is still sometimes the response of tragically unaware or unsympathetic parents and teachers, who fail to understand that in a world where electronic devices are ubiquitous, for some young people they are much more than just words on a phone, or laptop. They represent their entire peer community turning against them, and often overnight.

In reality, of course, cyberbullying is like any other form of public embarrassment. With luck it can be yesterday’s news as fast as tomorrow. Those with strong self-assertiveness or excellent support systems around them will survive. Most kids thankfully tough it out, leave school and move on. But some will never make it. And it’s those kids we need to protect with all our might.

The best protection for all kids is simply to make it increasingly socially unacceptable to bully, because bullying, like everything else, is subject, above all, to the pressures and fads of teenage opinion.

Even more than listening carefully and intervening when necessary, we need to arm teenagers with the weapons to argue that cyberbullying is never acceptable, because so much of their regulation of what is and is not OK to do or think is decided within their own peer group, far from the gaze of adults.

That’s why I urge you to help make this simple but brilliant video “go viral”. It’s the work of a young friend and work colleague, and I think it’s one of the best of its kind I have ever seen. It’s compellingly viewable, and beautifully simple. Just click and watch.

Directed by: Pat Langton
Director of Photography: Matt Langton
Actor: Meghan Langton
Visual Effects: Matt Langton

Take one minute to watch it, and then one minute to share this blog with everyone you can think of, and on all social media you use. Use the hashtag #cyberbullyinghurts

You could save a life. Maybe more than one. Worth two minutes of your time, eh?

Thanks.